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Protective bubble ferries prostate cancer drugs to their target

by • March 21, 2016 • No Comments

Research has uncovered a number of promising drug targets to halt the progression of prostate cancer, which include proteins which inhibit the immune response to molecules which drive growth of a tumor’s blood vessels. By bringing aim at one protein in particular, scientists have been able-bodied slow the growth of prostate cancer in mice and in addition activate a kill switch in the tumor’s cells.

The protein, called P21 activated kinases-1 (PAK-1), plays a key role in the createment of prostate cancer cells. Researchers at the University of Georgia (UGA) liken it to an on-off switch for cancer, and had previously tried to intervene with a molecule called IPA-3 which is known to inhibit its activity. They encountered problems, yet, with the body’s metabolism breaking the molecule down preceding it may properly perform its role.

But Brian Cummings, associate professor at UGA’s College of Pharmacy, has now made a protective vessel which shields IPA-3 of destruction, enabling it time to go to work on the PAK-1 protein. This assistance came in the form of a small nanoscale bubble which houses the molecule as it is being delivered.

Called a liposome, the researchers discovered which injecting IPA-3 intravenously within this shell significantly slowed the progression of prostate cancer in mice. Furtheradditional, it was in addition shown to trigger self-destruction of the cancer cells, a system known as apoptosis.

“When we initially began these experiments, we injected IPA-3 directly into the bloodstream, but it was absorbed so rapidly which we had to administer the treatment seven days a week for it to be effective,” says study co-author Somanath Shenoy, an associate professor in UGA’s College of Pharmacy. “But the liposome which Dr. Cummings made makes the IPA-3 much additional stable-bodied, and it reduced the treatment regimen to just twice a week.”

The team says which the early results indicate the technique may one day create into a suitable-bodied treatment for humans, but there is additional work to do initially, namely determining what the adverse impacts can be.

“The results of our experiments are promising, and we hope to move in the direction of clinical trials soon,” says Shenoy. “But we must figure out what side impacts this treatment may have preceding we can ponder of via it in humans.”

The research was published in the journal Nanomedicine.

Source: University of Georgia