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August 21, 2019 Wednesday 12:02:08 PM IST

Chemo drug with fewer side effects

Science Innovations

A stealthy new drug-delivery system disguises chemotherapeutics as fat in order to outsmart, penetrate and destroy tumours.Thinking the drugs are tasty fats, tumours invite the drug inside. Once there, the targeted drug activates, immediately suppressing tumour growth. The drug also is lower in toxicity than currentchemotherapy drugs, leading to fewer side effects.

It's like a ‘Trojan horse; It looks like a nice little fatty acid, so the tumour's receptors see it and invite it in. Then the drug starts getting metabolized and kills the tumour cells, according to researchers.

In the study, the researcher sat North-western University used the drug delivery system to carry a common, FDA-approved chemotherapy drug, paclitaxel, into tumours in a small animal model. Disguised as fat, the drug entered and completely eliminated the tumours in three types of cancer - bone, pancreatic and colon.

The researchers found they could deliver 20 times the dose of paclitaxel with their system. But even at such a high quantity, the drug in new system was still 17 times safer.


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