Researchers from Chinese institutes and Columbia University have developed a new nanomaterial that can act as an anticancer drug carrier, representing a promising strategy for precise drug delivery in cancer therapy.
Drug carriers are compounds that can be attached to drug molecules for targeted delivery.
Published last month in the international journal Advanced Materials, the results of animal experiments showed that the nanomaterial with a tumor cell membrane wrapped around its surface can precisely guide chemotherapy drugs to tumors.
The main components of the new material are selenium and silicon dioxide, which can be degraded under X-ray irradiation, said lead researcher Dong Wenfei of the Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences on Wednesday.
Under low levels of X-ray irradiation, the material achieved controlled drug release. Tests on mice with breast cancer showed that the use of the nano drug carrier could double the efficiency of tumor treatment and greatly reduce toxic side effects when compared with conventional chemotherapy.
"We also found through experiments that the nano drug carrier induced tumor-specific immune responses, indicating that it can not only kill tumors, but can also help inhibit tumor metastasis," said Shao Dan, a researcher from the Guangzhou-based South China University of Technology who also participated in the study. (Xinhua)
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