American scientists may have found a new way to fight mesothelioma and other cancers from the inside out by targeting cancer cells. A new article published in Biomaterials explores the use of nanoparticles.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is an aggressive disease. Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma may survive several or more years after diagnosis. And there are long-term survivors.
Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for 20-25% of all mesothelioma cases. Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma have a longer life expectancy than those with other types of mesothelioma. And some studies report patients live up to 5 years after treatment.
Mesothelioma is generally a “chemo-resistant” tumor. Several treatment options are available which include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. But traditional chemotherapy often come with toxicities.
New Option for Nanoparticles in Mesothelioma Treatment
Nanoparticles are a new treatment option for cancers.
Dr. Sabatelle and his team at Boston University are looking at drug-loaded nanoparticles. Nanoparticles work by attaching themselves to the surface of cancer cells. They have a special mechanism that destroys cancer cell membranes.
There is a special thing about nanoparticles in cancer treatment. They were designed to not destroy normal cells. They will only destroy cancer cells. The use of nanoparticles has been found to reduce cancer tumor size and prolong survival in mice.
The Boston University team studied the use of nanoparticles in peritoneal mesothelioma in mice. The nanoparticles are called PGC-PTX + PTX for short.
Advantages of Nanoparticles
Nanoparticles have advantages over other cancer treatments. They have reduced toxicity. They are more stable than other treatment options. And they can target cancer tumors better.
In the mouse model, there was a single shot of nanoparticles. A second dose one month later doubled the overall survival in mice. These results validate the clinical potential of using nanoparticles to treat peritoneal mesothelioma.
Nanoparticle cancer treatments have many benefits over current treatment options. They maintain therapeutic drug levels inside the tumor for weeks. This increases the destruction of cancer cells. But it has lower toxicities than other chemotherapy options.
The use of nanoparticles in cancer treatment is being tested in animal models. Yet scientists have great hope that this treatment will help human peritoneal mesothelioma.
Sabatelle, Robert C., Rong Liu, Yin P. Hung, Eric Bressler, Eliza J. Neal, Andrew Martin, Iriny Ekladious, Mark W. Grinstaff, and Yolonda L. Colson. “Ultra-high drug loading improves nanoparticle efficacy against peritoneal mesothelioma.” Biomaterials 285 (2022): 121534. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2022.121534