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November 5th, 2009
A nanotechnology therapy that targets cancer with a "stealth smart bomb" is to begin patient trials next year in the first clinical test of a pioneering approach to medicine, The Times has learnt.
The nanoparticle, which targets tumour cells while evading the body's immune system, promises to deliver larger and more effective doses of drugs to cancers, while simultaneously sparing patients many of the distressing side-effects of chemotherapy.
Animal studies have indicated that the treatment can shrink tumours "essentially to zero", while being better tolerated than conventional cancer treatments. Final toxicology studies are about to begin.
A trial involving about 25 cancer patients is scheduled to start within a year. If successful,it could lead to a licensed drug within five years.
The technology, developed by BIND Biosciences, a company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, should also be suitable for delivering drugs for treating other conditions, as well as for the chemotherapy agents that it has been set up to carry.
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