Gold nanoparticles deliver DOX directly to cancer

Another week, another miracle nanoparticle that promises to deliver anti-cancer drugs directly into tumors while leaving healthy cells alone. This time, it's a team from the University of Syracuse with the promising little development. Their system hitches DNA onto gold nanoparticles, which then binds to the anti-cancer drug doxorubin, also known as DOX.

"Since the system carries a large number of drug molecules and it can potentially release them within or in the vicinity of cancer cells, it can produce considerable lethality in a specific region," Syracuse researcher James Dabrowiak told In-PharmaTechnologist. Dabrowiak said the gold nanoparticles would "bring a high payload of toxic drug into the cell," increasing the chances that the tumor cell would die.

That's where the "nano" part comes into play. Millions of nanoparticles can direct the drug specifically into cancer cells and "not rely on the cell to simply absorb the drug from blood passing in the vicinity of the cell," Dabrowiak told In-PharmaTechnologist.

The team is also looking at other gold nanoparticle-DNA carriers for delivery of other clinically approved anti-cancer drugs, Dabrowiak said to the publication. The Syracuse team is confident that these types of nanotech-enabled delivery systems are within reach and "could permanently change the way cancer drugs work."

Judging by the numbers of similar nano-enabled breakthroughs reported in the last few years, if just a nano-fraction of them are translate into actual drug-delivery systems, the change will be a big one.

- read the story in In-PharmaTechnologist