Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Twin Nanoparticle Shown Effective At Targeting, Killing Breast Cancer Cells

Date:
March 14, 2009
Source:
Brown University
Summary:
Chemists have developed a novel way to treat a class of breast cancer cells. They have created a twin nanoparticle that specifically targets the Her-2 tumor cell and unloads a cancer-fighting drug directly into it. The result: Greater success at eliminating the cancer while minimizing an anti-cancer drug's side effects.

A unique, dumbbell-shaped twin nanoparticle created by Brown University chemists targets a class of breast cancer cells known as Her-2 tumor cells.
Credit: Chenjie Xu, Shouheng Sun/Brown University

Breast cancer patients face many horrors, including those that arise when fighting the cancer itself. Medications given during chemotherapy can have wicked side effects, including vomiting, dizziness, anemia and hair loss. These side effects occur because medications released into the body target healthy cells as well as tumor cells.

Related Articles


The trick becomes how to deliver cancer-fighting drugs directly to the tumor cells. Brown University chemists think they have an answer: They have created a twin nanoparticle that specifically targets the Her-2-positive tumor cell, a type of malignant cell that affects up to 30 percent of breast cancer patients.

The combination nanoparticle binds to the Her-2 tumor cell and unloads the cancer-fighting drug cisplatin directly into the infected cell. The result: Greater success at killing the cancer while minimizing the anti-cancer drug's side effects.

"Like a missile, you don't want the anti-cancer drugs to explode everywhere," explained Shouheng Sun, a chemistry professor at Brown University and an author on the paper published online in The Journal of the American Chemical Society. "You want it to target the tumor cells and not the healthy ones."

The researchers created the twin nanoparticle by binding one gold (Au) nanoparticle with an iron-oxide (Fe3O4) nanoparticle. On one end, they attached a synthetic protein antibody to the iron-oxide nanoparticle. On the other end, they attached cisplatin to the gold nanoparticle. Visually, the whole contraption looks like an elongated dumbbell, but it may be better to think of it as a vehicle, equipped with a very good GPS system, that is ferrying a very important passenger.

In this case, the GPS comes from the iron-oxide nanoparticle, which homes in on a Her-2 breast-cancer cell like a guided missile. The attached antibody is critical, because it binds to the antigen, a protein located on the surface on the malignant cell. Put another way, the nanoparticle vehicle "docks" on the tumor cell when the antibody and the antigen become connected. Once docked, the vehicle unloads its "passenger," the cisplatin, into the malignant cell.

"It's like a magic bullet," said Chenjie Xu, a Brown graduate student and the lead author on the paper. Baodui Wang, a visiting scientist at Brown and now an associate professor at Lanzhou University in China, contributed to the paper.

In a neat twist, the Brown-led team used a pH-sensitive covalent bond to connect the gold nanoparticle with the cisplatin to ensure that the drug was not released into the body but remained attached to the nanoparticle until it was time for it to be released into the malignant cell.

In laboratory tests, the gold-iron oxide nanoparticle combination successfully targeted the cancer cells and released the anti-cancer drugs into the malignant cells, killing the cells in up to 80 percent of cases. "We made a Mercedes Benz now," Sun joked. "It's not a Honda Civic anymore."

The research builds on previous work in Sun's lab where researchers created peptide-coated iron-oxide nanoparticles that, in tests with mice, successfully located a brain tumor cell called U87MG.

The researchers will test the breast-cancer nanoparticle system in laboratory tests with animals. They also plan to create twin nanoparticles that can release the drug via remote-controlled magnetic heating.

The breast-cancer nanoparticle research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brown University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brown University. "Twin Nanoparticle Shown Effective At Targeting, Killing Breast Cancer Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310120353.htm>.
Brown University. (2009, March 14). Twin Nanoparticle Shown Effective At Targeting, Killing Breast Cancer Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310120353.htm
Brown University. "Twin Nanoparticle Shown Effective At Targeting, Killing Breast Cancer Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090310120353.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins