Different from the traditional therapies like chemotherapy and radiation focusing on a general part of the tumor site, nanotechnology directly works to halt the growth of tumor, with more accuracy and less influence on the normal part of bodies.
But the new technology for cancer treatment is limited in epithelial cancers like breast cancer and bladder cancer. As these cancers began to mutate from the lining of organs caused by a program controlled by Twist protein
that helps cancers against the influence from anti-cancer drugs when it’s active.
The properties that Twist protein presented in the resistance of anti-cancer drugs has made it one of the main targets
of researchers. Studies were carried out, and breakthrough has been made in this area. Scientists employed nucleic acid, a kind of interfering RNA to hinder the code and expression of Twist protein’s gene.
The employment of nucleic acid have been successful in the experiments of mice, in which the expression of Twist protein has been hindered, and as a result the tumor size decreased a lot. The new technology takes effect in a relatively short period about 6 weeks, during which nanoparticles will be used for the treatment only once a week.
How does the nucleic acid are transferred to the tumor site and work? That should be attributed to the nanoparticles. They contain thousands of tiny pores on the surface where the interfering RNA is stocked and in a considerable quantity. Furtherly, nucleic acid is protected by the coat covering the whole nanoparcticle. The coat was made of a chemical called polyethyleneimine, also helping the nanoparticles gather around when they land on the tumor site to work better.
This new technology for cancer treatment can reduce the tumor growth rate, but it still needs the help of other anti-cancer drugs to function together, which in fact is a method to decrease the resistance from cancer for anti-cancer drugs, then make the drugs work in the way they are programmed in the drug design process. Still the mechanism of the new technology is totally different from the ones are used in the treatment of cancers at present.
The employment of nanoparticles in the new method to slow down the tumor growth is a shinning point. And with the success of the new tech, more such application will be used in the drug development.
The findings paper are available in the Journal Nanomedicine, and the name of the paper is Mesoporous silica nanoparticle delivery of chemically modified siRNA against TWIST1 leads to reduced tumor burden.