New Technique Reduces Side-effects, Improves Delivery of Chemotherapy Nanodrugs


Source: Carnegie Mellon University

Summary: Researchers have developed a new improved method for delivering chemotherapy nanodrugs which increases drugs’ bioavailability and reduces side-effects.


Among the available versatile therapeutic methods to fight cancer, chemotherapy is a priority choice for its high efficiency. But even the conventional chemotherapy has a set of limitations such as nonspecific cytotoxicity, adverse side-effects, blood/renal clearance and severe multi-drug resistance. Over the past decade, in overcoming the limitations, nanodrugs have received an extensive attention. Nanodrugs are the drugs attached to tiny biocompatible particles and delivered to reach the target tumor cells. Even the regular chemotherapy nanodrug delivery is not very efficient – only about 0.7% reach the target and the rest is absorbed by liver, kidneys and spleen which increases the organs toxicity and negatively impact patient’s quality of life. Researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new improved method for delivering chemotherapy nanodrugs which increases drugs’ bioavailability and reduces side-effects.

An FDA-approved nutrition source

Intralipid reduces the toxicity and improves the bioavailability and biodistribution of anti-cancer nanodrugs. Credit: Carnegie Mellon University

This method uses Intralipid, an FDA-approved nutrition source to temporarily blunt the reticuloendothelial system – a network of cells and tissues found throughout the body, including in the blood, lymph nodes, spleen and liver, that play an important role in the immune system. The researchers tested their technique in a rat model of cancer by using 3 FDA-approved chemotherapy nanodrugs – Abraxane, Marqibo and Onivyde and 1 experimental platinum-based anti-cancer nanodrug. The mouse was administered with Intralipid one hour before giving it a chemotherapy nanodrug. The researchers found that the amount of nanodrug accumulated in the liver, spleen, kidneys was drastically reduced and also more of the drug was attacking target tumor cells. The researchers believe that their drug delivery methodology can be applied to a variety of nanodrugs without any modifications to the drugs.

Prof. Chien Ho said, “This methodology could have a major impact in the delivery of nanodrugs not only for patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment but also to those being treated with nanodrugs for other conditions.”


More Information: Li Liu et al, “A New Approach to Deliver Anti-cancer Nanodrugs with Reduced Off-target Toxicities and Improved Efficiency by Temporarily Blunting the Reticuloendothelial System with Intralipid”, Scientific Reports (2017). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-16293-6


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