Cloaking Chemotherapy Drugs Hugely Increases Dose Effectiveness

Credit: greenka2000/Flickr

Packaging chemotherapy drugs in immune dodging bubbles delivers the same results, with a 50 times lower dose

The new research is based on the use of exosomes, which are tiny vesicles coated with cell membrane. These are found across the body, delivering various contents without perturbing the immune system. Using these small spheres to deliver drugs has significant advantages over other systems primarily because it prevents an immune reaction. 

“Exosomes are engineered by nature to be the perfect delivery vehicles. By using exosomes from white blood cells, we wrap the medicine in an invisibility cloak that hides it from the immune system. We don’t know exactly how they do it, but the exosomes swarm the cancer cells, completely bypassing any drug resistance they may have and delivering their payload”

Exosomes are widely distributed throughout the body

In the newly released study, researchers extracted exosomes from mice and filled them with the chemotherapy drug Paclitaxel. After success in petri dishes on cancer cells, they tested the therapy in mice - tracking the exosomes with a dye. They found these exosomes somehow gravitated towards cancer cells and marked them out, killing them in the process. 

“Accurately mapping the extent of tumors in the lungs is one of the biggest challenges in treating lung-cancer patients. Our results show how powerful exosomes can be as both a therapeutic and a diagnostic. That matters because we may eventually be able to treat patients with smaller and more accurate doses of powerful chemotherapy drugs resulting in more effective treatment with fewer and milder side effects”

Read more at Futurity