Tiny Gems Take Big Step Toward Battling Cancer
Chemotherapy drug resistance contributes to treatment failure in more than 90 percent of metastatic cancers. Overcoming this hurdle would significantly improve cancer survival rates.
Dean Ho, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering at Northwestern University, believes a tiny carbon particle called a nanodiamond may offer an effective drug delivery solution for hard-to-treat cancers.
In studies of liver and breast cancer models in vivo, Ho and a multidisciplinary team of scientists, engineers and clinicians found that a normally lethal amount of a chemotherapy drug when bound to nanodiamonds significantly reduced the size of tumors in mice. Survival rates also increased and no toxic effects on tissues and organs were observed.
This is the first work to demonstrate the significance and translational potential of nanodiamonds in the treatment of chemotherapy-resistant cancers. The results were published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.