Chemotherapy works because it kills cancer cells. Unfortunately, thedrugs can also kill healthy cells as they pass through the body on theirway to the cancerous target. Many are so toxic they never make it tomarket.
But researchers at the University of Maryland School ofPharmacy are developing a new drug delivery system that greatly reducestoxicity.
Parshant Chikhale, Ph.D., assistant professor, and colleagues reportthat their system delivers anti-cancer drugs directly to tumor sites,controls the delivery speed, and will not harm brain tissue.
The researchers are reporting on three studies that indicate the noveldelivery system will release the drugs only in the presence of a tumor.Drug release can be controlled with this system because the bond betweena novel carrier molecule and the drug can only be broken in theenvironment found in the presence of cancerous tissue.
By modifying thestructure of the molecule, the researchers also were able to decreaseand increase the speed of the chemical reaction releasing the drug.Chikhale also reports that binding amino acid-based anti-cancer agentsto their molecule rendered the drugs unable to permeate the blood-brainbarrier, avoiding toxicity to the brain.
Chikhale will present the findings at Annual Meeting of the American Association ofPharmaceutical Scientists this week in Boston.
Materials provided by University Of Maryland. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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