ACS Nano has released new research concerning a new method of pancreatic cancer treatment utilizing gold nanoparticles. In past studies, researchers have utilized gold particles as a delivery system to transport chemotherapy drugs directly to tumors. They have also utilized them as targets to focus radiation at tumors. In mice, the particles themselves have been shown to stem tumor growth during a study of ovarian cancer.
In past research, gold nanoparticles have been used in the bio-distribution of drugs, an enhancement that allows improved direct delivery for drugs to specific organs, tissue, or cells. The overall performance of these gold nanoparticles is dependent upon their overall size and surface. In a perfect setting, delivering drugs using gold nanoparticles is dependent upon the active drug being applied to the targeted site for the correct time and duration needed for them to be effective.
Researchers have concluded that the same methodology can be applied to pancreatic cancer. One new point of interest was the discovery concerns cellular communication in and around the area of the tumor called “crosstalk.” Pancreatic cancer proliferation depends on this communication, but when these gold nanoparticles disrupted this communication, reducing the cell propagation and metastization into other parts of the body.
Researchers showed that gold nanoparticles inhibited cell propagation and metastization with a disruption of bi-directional communications between the cells. They did so by altering the cell’s secretome, the secreted proteins of a cell. Secretomes are key factors in many cellular processes including cell signaling, but they are also essential to the invasion and metastasis of malignant (cancerous) cells.
The study of Secretomes allows scientists to discover biomarkers, the reason for this being these “secreted proteins” facilitate tumorigenesis. Tumorigenesis is the transformation of normal healthy cells into cancerous cells through cell growth, migration, invasion, and angiogenesis (a process which promotes blood vessel growth in tumors).
To read the abstract for this study, go here.