Tel Aviv researchers create new weapon against cancer

Chemotherapy is an effective but also debilitating treatment for cancer. But now, researchers at Tel Aviv University have found a new way to deliver the life-saving therapy to cancer patients by getting straight to the source of the disease

The researchers are comparing their new nano-vehicle to a targeted cluster bomb against cancer. Coating the drug-delivery vehicle is a sugar that is recognized by receptors on many types of cancer cells.

"When the nano-vehicle interacts with the receptor on the cancerous cell, the receptor undergoes a structural change and the chemotherapy payload is released directly into the cancer cell," Dan Peer, of Tel Aviv University's Department of Cell Research and Immunology and the Center for Nano Science and Nano Technology, says in a release. Because the nano-vehicle reacts only to cancer cells, the healthy cells that surround them remain untouched.

Peer says the nano-bomb can be used to treat many types of cancer, including lung, blood, colon, breast, ovarian, pancreatic, as well as several types of brain cancers. He and another colleague are working with Oruus Pharma in California, which has licensed the "cluster bomb" platform from the university, according to a statement. Clinical trials should begin in two years or less, according to Peer.

- read the American Friends of Tel Aviv University release