Scientists have come up with a treatment to fight endometrial and ovarian cancer using “super sticky” bio-adhesive nanoparticles laced with chemotherapy drugs, and it has proven to be highly effective and far less toxin than traditional treatment regimens for these kinds of reproductive cancers.
“Nanoparticles” are tiny particles that range from between 1 to 100 nanometers in size. These nanoparticles are laden with a drug called Epothilone B, or EB. This combination is then injected into the peritoneal space directly into the fluid within the abdominal cavity.
Originally Epothiline B was used on tumor cells which had proven themselves to be resistant to traditional chemo drugs. While effective, the toxicity and the severity of the side effects of Epothilone B caused made the risk factor unacceptable for patients.
The new methodology achieves toxicity reduction by enclosing the drug within a nanoparticle and allowing for a gradual release of high concentrations of Epothilone B keeping the drug in the correct location in the body and releasing the proper dosage of the drug over a prescribed period of time.
In experiments conducted on mice, the nanoparticles which contain the Epothilone B are covered with Aldehyde Groups (the Super Sticky stuff), which in turn glued the nanoparticle to the mesothelial cells within the abdomen. Thus, the super sticky nanoparticles remained in place, delivering the medication, as per the regimen, for 24 hours.
Nanoparticles lacking the super sticky adhesive left the area of delivery (abdomen) within five minutes. 60% of the test mice receiving the treatment regimen with the super sticky nanoparticles survived longer than the mice without the super sticky nanoparticles. Of that group, 10% or less survived.
Being able to have stable localization of Epothilone B for a proscribed period of time and control the delivery levels of the drug as well created a decrease in toxicity and an increase in how effective the drug actually was. The treatment regimen could have far-reaching implications and benefits for late-stage endometrial and ovarian cancers which are notoriously difficult to treat.