Nanodrug technology offers two therapies to attack malignancy


Tel Aviv University Researchers have developed nano-drug technology that instantly delivers two therapies to precisely target malignancy to address the resistance of certain cancers to various types of treatments.

Professor Dan Peer. Image credit: Tel Aviv University.

The method paves the way for cancer treatments that are more effective and have fewer side effects than current treatments.

In our system, a single nanoparticle is able to operate in two different domains. It increases the receptivity of cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy, while invigorating immune cells and increasing their sensitivity to cancer cells. Thus, with a precisely targeted nanoparticle, we provide two different treatments, at very different sites..

Dan Peer, lead researcher of the study, professor at Tel Aviv University

Dan Peer is also Vice President of R&D at TAU. He also directs the Precision Nanomedicine Laboratory at the Shmunis School of Biomedicine and Cancer Research, George S. Wise School of Life Sciences.

Chemoimmunotherapy, a treatment that combines chemotherapy and immunotherapy, is considered the most sophisticated standard of care for different types of cancer.

Immunotherapy, unlike chemotherapy, causes the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells without harming healthy cells needed for healing. However, many patients fail to respond to chemoimmunotherapy, highlighting the need for more precise cancer treatments.

healing potential

Peer’s team demonstrated how a single nanoparticle, known as a lipid nanoparticle, can act as a molecular precision-guided missile to deliver the two-in-one drug directly to cancer cells in research. The drug, an advanced RNA (ribonucleic acid) compound, changes how cancer cells work so they can be identified for obliteration with chemotherapy and immunotherapy.

This is only an initial study, but it has enormous potential for positive change in the ongoing fight against cancer..

Dan Peer, lead researcher of the study, professor at Tel Aviv University

Peer is a global pioneer in the field of RNA-based drugs. Dr. Seok-Beom Yong, a postdoctoral researcher in Peer’s lab, co-led the research. Their team studied the system in laboratory models of metastasized melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer that continues to spread to other parts of the body, as well as a local solid tumor confined to a single organ. .

In both populations, we observed positive effects of our drug delivery systemadded Peer, who is a fellow at the Roman Abramovich Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology at TAU. The study was published in the Advanced materials newspaper.

Targeted treatment

Peer’s research builds on a recent revelation from international scientists that provides insight into how cancer evades mainstream treatments. The discovery illustrates how cancer cells use an enzyme known as HO1 to both resist chemotherapy and hide from the immune system. Silencing HO1 in tumors is therefore considered the best clinical research strategy, but all previous attempts to silence the enzyme have resulted in unwanted side effects.

Existing methods for silencing HO1 resemble using an F-16 fighter jet to blow up a tiny ant. Our new nanomedicine knows how to precisely target cancer cells, silence the enzyme and expose the tumor to chemotherapy, without damaging surrounding healthy cells. Then, the same nanoparticle reprograms T cells in the immune system to restore their ability to recognize cancer as a foreign body and attack it..

Dan Peer, lead researcher of the study, professor at Tel Aviv University

The research was supported by an ERC grant from the European Union and a research grant from the South Korean government.

Improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and invigorate the immune system

Video credit: Tel Aviv University

Journal reference:

Yong, S.B., et al. (2022) Dual-target lipid nanotherapeutic boost for cancer chemoimmunotherapy. Advanced materials.



Comments are closed.