Imaging where cancer drugs go in the body could improve treatment

October 26, 2016

Nanomedicine has the potential to help personalize cancer treatments and reduce side effects of therapeutic drugs. While some progress has been made toward the latter goal, customized treatments are still hard to come by. Now scientists report in the journal ACS Nano a new step toward seeing where certain cancer drugs accumulate in the body in order to better treat patients. They tested their drug-carrying, lipid-based nanoparticles in animals.

Recent research has shown just how complicated it is to customize treatment for cancer patients. As one might expect, the same drug will accumulate in tumors at varying concentrations in patients with different cancers. But this also happens in patients with the same kind of cancer. To better evaluate which patients would benefit from particular nanomedicines such as DOXIL® or other liposomal drugs, it would be helpful to determine early on in a patient's treatment if a drug is targeting the right places at effective concentrations. Rafael T. M. de Rosales, Alberto Gabizon and colleagues sought to address this challenge.

The researchers developed a simple method to attach labels to aminobisphosphonates, which are metal-binding cancer drugs commonly used in the treatment of bone metastases, packaged in liposomes. They extended the method to liposome-entrapped doxorubicin, another metal-binding drug widely used in cancer chemotherapy and present in various liposome-based nanomedicines. The labels -- and thus the liposomal drugs -- could then be tracked using positron emission tomography (PET) to see where they go within the body. Imaging with PET in mouse models of breast and ovarian cancer shows the drugs accumulated in tumors and metastatic tissues in varying concentrations and, in most cases, at levels well above those in normal tissues, the researchers report. In one mouse strain, the nanomedicines unexpectedly showed up in uteruses, a result that wouldn't have been detected without conducting the imaging study, according to the researchers. This type of imaging data may help predict how much drug will be delivered to cancer tissues in specific patients, and whether the nanomedicine is reaching all the patient's tumors in therapeutic concentrations.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the EPSRC/CRUK King's College London and UCL Comprehensive Cancer Imaging Centre, the Wellcome Trust/EPSRC Medical Engineering Centre at King's College London, the National Institute for Health Research (U.K.), and the Shaare Zedek Medical Center (Jerusalem, Israel).

The paper's abstract will be available on Oct. 26 here:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsnano.6b05935

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: TwitterFacebook

American Chemical Society

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.