Pancreatic cancer is currently one of the most deadly and chemotherapy-resistant cancers. Recently, cancer researchers in Australia have developed a very promising nanomedical method that will improve the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
This technology wraps drugs that can silence specific genes in nanoparticles and transport them to pancreatic tumors . It is expected to provide pancreatic cancer patients with alternatives to traditional treatments such as chemotherapy.
Experiments conducted on mice showed that the new nanomedicine method reduced tumor growth by 50% and also slowed the spread of pancreatic cancer.
The research published in Biomacromolecules was conducted by scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). It brings new hope to most pancreatic cancer patients who can only survive for 3-6 months after diagnosis.
Dr. Phoebe Phillips from the UNSW Roy Cancer Research Centre (Lowy Cancer Research Centre) was the main person in charge of the study. She said that whenever her doctor colleagues had to inform pancreatic cancer patients, Even if the best chemotherapy drugs can only help them extend their lives for 16 weeks, doctors are actually very unbearable.
Dr. Phillips said: “The main reason why chemotherapy does not work is that pancreatic tumors have a wide range of scar tissue, which can account for 90% of the entire tumor. Scar tissue acts as a physical barrier that prevents drugs from reaching the tumor , causing pancreatic cancer. Cells are resistant to chemotherapy. “
She explained: “Recently, we have discovered a key gene that promotes the growth, spread and resistance of pancreatic cancer-βIII-tubulin. Inhibiting this gene in mice not only reduced tumor growth by half, It also slows down the spread of cancer cells. “
However, to suppress this gene clinically, one has to overcome the difficulty of drug administration: crossing the scar tissue of pancreatic tumors . To solve this problem, Australian researchers have developed a nano-medical means, the tiny RNA molecules (can be understood as a copy of the cellular DNA) wrapped in advanced nano-particles, these RNA molecules reach the tumor after it is able to To a large extent, inhibit the βIII-tubulin gene.
These researchers have demonstrated the feasibility of the new nanoparticles in mice. Their nanoparticles can deliver therapeutic doses of microRNA to pancreatic tumors in mice in the presence of scar tissue , and successfully inhibit βIII-tubulin.
“The significance of our nanomedicine technology is that it is expected to suppress any tumor-promoting gene, or a set of genes that are ‘privately customized’ based on the expression of the patient’s tumor gene.” Dr. Phillips said.
“This achievement will help people develop new treatments for this drug-resistant cancer and enhance the effectiveness of existing chemotherapy methods, thereby improving the survival rate and quality of life of pancreatic cancer patients.”