Local researchers said they have developed a new nanotherapy that targets and treats a brain tumor.
A joint research team of Professor Kim Do-kyoung at Kyung Hee University College of Medicine and Professor Kim Hyo-young at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) said on Thursday the novel nanotherapy could target glioblastoma, the most common brain cancer.
Patients with glioblastoma, a malignant tumor, survive 12 to 15 months after diagnosis, and only less than 5 percent of patients survive five years after diagnosis.
Physicians generally use palliative therapy, such as chemotherapy, to treat the disease. Still, the low organ specificity and penetration yield through the blood-brain barrier of drugs cause many side effects.
To address the issues, researchers have paid attention to nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems (DDS).
The research team used porous silicon nanoparticles as the new platform of the nanotherapy.
Porous silicon nanoparticles have low toxicity, high loading efficacy, and accessibility as a controlled-release system so that people can control the time and the site of the drug release, according to the team.
The researchers had porous silicon nanoparticles carry SN-38, an anticancer drug that has excellent efficacy but is difficult to use due to stability issues in the body, to reach a brain tumor.
SN-38 is actively used as an anticancer agent, but it has low cancer-targeting properties. It can accumulate in other parts of the body, causing various side effects, including hair loss, reproductive cell loss, canker sores, vomit, and diarrhea.
The research team said the newly developed nanotherapy selectively targeted the brain tumor site of the animal model and showed excellent anticancer effect without side effects.
“Based on the results of this study, related research and clinical application of the development of new nanotherapies that combine porous silicon nanoparticles and targeting peptides will become livelier,” Professor Kim of Kyung Hee University said.
The study, “A Brain Tumor-homing Tetra-peptide Delivers a Nano-Therapeutic for More Effective Treatment of Mouse Model of Glioblastoma,” has been published in Nanoscale Horizons on June 2.