Do UMass researchers achieve breakthrough in the fight against cancer?

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Аvera Allen, Deputy Editor In Chief

Date: 19.05.2021

A team of researchers at the Center for Bioactive Delivery at the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Institute for Applied Life Sciences has engineered a nanoparticle that has the potential to revolutionize disease treatment, including for cancer. This new research, which appears today in Angewandte Chemie, combines two different approaches to more precisely and effectively deliver treatment to the specific cells affected by cancer.

Two of the most promising new treatments involve delivery of cancer-fighting drugs via biologics or antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Each has its own advantages and limitations. Biologics, such as protein-based drugs, can directly substitute for a malfunctioning protein in cells. As a result, they have less serious side effects than those associated with traditional chemotherapy. But, because of their large size, they are unable to get into specific cells.

"What our team has done," explains Khushboo Singh, a graduate student in the chemistry department and one of the study's lead authors, "is to combine the advantages of biologics and ADCs and address their weaknesses. It is a new platform for cancer therapy."

The team's approach depends on a nanoparticle the team engineered called a "protein-antibody conjugate," or PAC.

At the heart of the PAC is a "polymer brush," a nanoparticle that the team engineered. This brush does two things. First, it is studded with antibodies that are capable of locating individual cancerous cells. Next, the brush has to both hold a sizable cargo of biologics but also keep that dose intact. The team found that their nanoparticle could carry four times the therapeutic dose of a typical ADC, and, through a variety of techniques, could be increased many times over.

By Аvera Allen | Linkedin

#News #Health #Medical #UMAAS #Whealthnews

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