Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Prostate cancer researchers developing 'homing beacon drugs' to target cancer cells

Date:
November 20, 2012
Source:
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Summary:
Medical researcher are developing 'homing beacon drugs' that kill only cancer cells, not healthy ones, thanks to nano-technology.

A medical researcher with the University of Alberta and his team just published their findings about their work on developing 'homing beacon drugs' that kill only cancer cells, not healthy ones, thanks to nano-technology.

Related Articles


John Lewis, the Frank and Carla Sojonky Chair in Prostate Cancer Research with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, published his findings in the peer-reviewed journal, Nano Letters. He is also an associate professor in the Department of Oncology, a Fellow with the National Institute for Nanotechnology at the U of A and director of the Translational Prostate Cancer Research Group.

Lewis noted chemotherapy goes through the body and kills any cells that are dividing, even healthy ones -- which is why cancer patients have immune system problems, hair loss, nausea and skin problems.

"We are developing smart drugs that determine which are the cancer cells and which aren't, then selectively kill only the cancer cells. The drugs look for a protein that is only found in cancer cells, not normal cells. This system acts like a homing beacon for tumours."

These drugs, tested to date in only animal lab models, could be used within a week of cancer diagnoses, predicts Lewis. The drugs would target cancerous cells throughout the body -- attacking sneaky cancer cells that have already escaped and grown outside the site of the main tumour.

Lewis wasn't sure when these homing beacon drugs could be available for physicians to use with patients, but hopes his works paves the way for patient-centered therapies.

"If we can use 'smart' drugs that home in on tumours, we can dramatically decrease side effects for patients, lower the chance of recurrence, and hopefully increase the cancer survival rate."

Meanwhile, Lewis and his research team are continuing their work on trying to figure out what causes cancer cells to escape and spread from the main tumour site because the cells that move are different than the ones in the main tumour. They have pinpointed numerous genes that set these 'moving' cancer cells apart from the ones that stay put. Based on this research, they have come up with a drug that uses a 'tumour glue' to prevent these moving cancer cells from breaking apart from the main tumour, which prevents the spread of the cancer. Using knowledge gained from the 'tumour glue' drug, Lewis and his team are working to develop new blood tests to predict whether prostate and other cancers will spread.

The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Choi-Fong Cho, Giulio A. Amadei, Daniel Breadner, Leonard G. Luyt, John D. Lewis. Discovery of Novel Integrin Ligands from Combinatorial Libraries Using a Multiplex “Beads on a Bead” Approach. Nano Letters, 2012; 12 (11): 5957 DOI: 10.1021/nl3034043

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. "Prostate cancer researchers developing 'homing beacon drugs' to target cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120132857.htm>.
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. (2012, November 20). Prostate cancer researchers developing 'homing beacon drugs' to target cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120132857.htm
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. "Prostate cancer researchers developing 'homing beacon drugs' to target cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121120132857.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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