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Posted: Jan 18, 2011
Nanoparticle blocks key molecule involved in spread of breast cancer
(Nanowerk News) Ongoing clinical trials have shown that a peptide known as PHSCN can slow or prevent the spread of metastatic breast cancer in over a third of patients treated with the drug. This drug works by binding to an activated receptor found on the surface of breast tumor cells but not normal cells.
To improve the promising performance of PHSCN, Dr. Livant and her colleagues attached eight molecules of this peptide to a polymer nanoparticle known as a dendrimer. Tests using cultured breast tumor cells showed that this construct was far more potent at preventing the invasion of those cells into an artificial membrane. Further tests in mice showed that the dendrimer-linked peptide reduced the ability of metastatic breast cancer cells to colonize the lungs of animals receiving this nanoscale construct by 3- to 5-fold compared to when animals received free PHSCN.