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August 1st, 2005
Imagine a cancer drug that can burrow into a tumor, seal the exits and detonate a lethal dose of anticancer toxins, all while leaving healthy cells unscathed. Investigators at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have designed a multifunctional nanoparticle to do just that. The dual-chamber, double-acting, drug-packing "nanocell" proved effective and safe, with prolonged survival, against two distinct forms of cancers-melanoma and Lewis lung cancer-in mice. This work, conducted by a multidisciplinary team led by Ram Sasisekharan, Ph.D., of MIT, was published in the journal Nature.
The nanocell worked better against melanoma than lung cancer, indicating the need to tweak the design for different cancers. "This model enables us to rationally and systematically evaluate drug combinations and loading mechanisms," says Dr. Sasisekharan. "It's not going to stop here. We want to build on this concept."
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