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MISiS Press Service
Russian scientists have successfully conducted preclinical studies of a new antitumor drug based on magnetite nanoparticles. Tests showed that if this drug treats sick mice, their life is prolonged by 50%. The results of the study are published in the journal Nanomedicine.
The new preparation consists of two components: spherical magnetite nanoparticles, inside which was placed a drug-cytostatic (toxic substance that destroys tumor cells), and vector molecules. They serve as a kind of conductor, that is, they lead a particle with a poison specifically to the affected organ, not accumulating in the healthy tissues of the body.
The vector molecule is an antibody to the protein “vascular endothelial growth factor” (VEGF, Vascular endothelial growth factor) – a signal protein that cells produce in order to stimulate the formation of an embryonic vascular system. The molecule, thus, works according to the “key-lock” scheme, finding and joining only to a certain type of cells. Previously, the vector molecule was used as an independent drug, but in its study, scientists were among the first in the world to use it in such an unusual quality. However, monotherapy with such antibodies has not shown high efficiency.
“Studies have shown that the proposed therapeutic scheme is effective: experiments in vitro and then in vivo have demonstrated that the lifespan of animals treated with the new drug has increased by 50% – from 23 to 39 days,” says the head of the research group, the head of the laboratory ” Biomedical nanomaterials »NITU MISiS Maxim Abakumov. – In addition, the proposed substance showed a good visualization of tumor tissue during the MRI study. This could potentially be applicable to facilitate the work of surgeons during the operation to identify and visually fix the edges of the affected organ. “
MISiS Press Service
In addition to the targeted delivery of drugs to which the new study relates, iron oxide particles show good results in treatment by hyperthermia. When applying this method, magnetite nanoparticles are introduced into the affected organ where they accumulate, and then they are subjected to an alternating electromagnetic field with certain parameters. As a result, the particles warm up to 43-45 C and warm up the surrounding cancer cells, which in this case perish. It is important to note that it was previously shown that cancer cells are more sensitive to temperature changes than healthy ones, and also allows healthy tissue to remain intact.
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