A team of researchers from Australia and India are hard at work developing a new "smart bomb" to target tumors. The investigators are developing an antibody that binds to cancer stem cells, delivering a lipid particle containing an anti-cancer therapy coupled with RNAi gene silencing tech.
"While current treatments kill the bulk of the cancer cell, the cancer root escapes the therapy and can regenerate into a new cancer mass," says Wei Duan, an associate professor at Deakin University, who is collaborating with colleagues in India on the project. "The aim of our research is to develop a smart bomb that can penetrate the cell and release the drugs within the cells, rather than from the outside, and kills the whole tumor, root and all."
Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, Barwon Health's Andrew Love Cancer Centre and ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals are all collaborating on the program, which has been funded in part by the Indian and Australian governments. And the scientists say the delivery technology isn't restricted to the cancer field. The same approach could also work for Alzheimer's, heart disease and diabetes.
"This system would also be very human compatible and human degradable meaning it would not be toxic to other cells in the body and would cause very limited side-effects," says Duan.