Cancer News

New tumor-shrinking nanoparticle to fight cancer

Since the late 1990s, the field of nanomedicine has been focused on the development of nanoparticles, which is used as the drug media to accurately deliver chemotherapy drugs to the tumor site. However, there are still some shortcomings in the application process, for example, during the transport of drugs, these nanoparticles are likely to be treated as foreign materials and disposed by the body.


Recently, the Mayo Clinic research team has developed a new type of cancer-fighting nanoparticle aimed at shrinking breast cancer tumors while also preventing the recurrence of the disease. They tried a modular design using colloidal nanoparticles as a substrate to construct multiple bispecific nano-biomaterials (mBiNE) to improve selectivity and eliminate cancer cells by immunomodulating. Nano-drugs can interact with immune cells and have the ability to penetrate into the entire immune system, resulting in a potent immune response to the treatment of human disease. This method is based on the existing cancer immunotherapy and will open up a new chapter for the nanomedical immunotherapy.

According to the research, mice that received an injection with nanoparticles showed a 70% to 80% reduction in tumor size , and more surprising result is that mice received nanoparticle injections were resistant to cancer cells, and there was no recurrence of cancer occurred even in a month after exposure to cancer cells. The study is published in Nature Nanotechnology.

The nanoparticles coated with antibodies that target the HER2 receptor and compounds can reduce the tumor size, and assist the immune cells to recognize, memorize and automatically remove the cancer cells by mediating the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system. And molecules attached to the nanoparticles will accelerate the production of large amounts of macrophages and phagocytic cells that can remove and destroy any foreign material in the immune system. Macrophages and phagocytic cells then remove cancer cells while transmit the cancer cells information to the immune system of T cells. T cells can remove the remaining cancer cells, while remember the cancer cells, effectively preventing cancer recurrence. Through the establishment of disease memory in the cell, the nanoparticles can achieve a similar “vaccine” effect, and ultimately the body can automatically identify and combat recurrent tumors.

Researchers will also continue to explore the possibility of nanoparticles preventing long-term recurrence of tumors, including metastases at sites distant from the primary tumor. In addition, nanoparticles designed to be modular also means that it can carry molecules to fight other types of diseases. This method is expected to open new doors for nanomedicine and apply to more different types of human diseases.