Researchers at the University of Georgia are developing a new treatment technique that uses nanoparticles to reprogram immune cells so they are able to recognize and attack cancer.
The findings were published recently in the early online edition of ACS Nano.
The human body operates under a constant state of martial law. Chief among the enforcers charged with maintaining order is the immune system, a complex network that seeks out and destroys the hordes of invading bacteria and viruses that threaten the organic society as it goes about its work.
The immune system is good at its job, but it’s not perfect. Most cancerous cells, for example, are able to avoid detection by the immune system because they so closely resemble normal cells, leaving the cancerous cells free to multiply and grow into life-threatening tumors while the body’s only protectors remain unaware.
Shanta Dhar and her colleagues are giving the immune system a boost through their research.
“What we are working on is specifically geared toward breast cancer,” said Dhar, the study’s co-author and an assistant professor of chemistry in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. “Our paper reports for the first time that we can stimulate the immune system against breast cancer cells using mitochondria-targeted nanoparticles and light using a novel pathway.”
In their experiments, Dhar and her colleagues exposed cancer cells in a petri dish to specially designed nanoparticles 1,000 times finer than the width of a human hair. The nanoparticles invade the cell and penetrate the mitochondria—the organelles responsible for producing the energy a cell needs to grow and replicate.
They then activated the nanoparticles inside the cancer cells by exposing them to a tissue-penetrating long wavelength laser light. Once activated, the nanoparticles disrupt the cancer cell’s normal processes, eventually leading to its death.
The dead cancer cells were collected and exposed to dendritic cells, one of the core components of the human immune system. What the researchers saw was remarkable.
“We are able to potentially overcome some of the traditional drawbacks to today’s dendritic cell immunotherapy,” said Sean Marrache, a graduate student in Dhar’s lab. “By targeting nanoparticles to the mitochondria of cancer cells and exposing dendritic cells to these activated cancer cells, we found that the dendritic cells produced a high concentration of chemical signals that they normally don’t produce, and these signals have traditionally been integral to producing effective immune stimulation.”
Dhar added that the “dendritic cells recognized the cancer as something foreign and began to produce high levels of interferon-gamma, which alerts the rest of the immune system to a foreign presence and signals it to attack. We basically used the cancer against itself.”
The Latest Bing News on:
Nanoparticles to fight cancer
- 16 Israeli research projects on personalized medicine get millions in fundingon May 25, 2020 at 3:27 am
Multidisciplinary projects, including studies on autism, cancers and trauma, get NIS 60 million ($17 million) in grants from Israel Precision Medicine Partnership initiative ...
- mRNA drug therapy: Instructing the body to make its own cancer drugson May 20, 2020 at 5:00 am
Imagine that we could instruct our bodies to make the drugs they need themselves. The gene technology that makes this possible is called mRNA therapy, which may become a major tool in the treatment of ...
- Array-Based Sensing Using Nanoparticles: An Alternative Approach for Cancer Diagnosticson May 15, 2020 at 5:00 pm
The challenges in the fight against cancer in the last century have revealed a pressing need for personalized screening devices. In this review, we have discussed a variety of array-based sensing ...
- Nanomaterial significantly enhances potential COVID-19 therapyon May 14, 2020 at 5:18 am
"We were interested in niclosamide as a potential anti-cancer drug, but now we are all thrilled by the fact that OHPP-enabled niclosamide can be potentially used to fight COVID-19." Yao's research ...
- Gold Nanoparticles Industry Assessment 2020-2025: Key Trends, Leading Segments, Major Playerson May 13, 2020 at 12:18 pm
Gold nanoparticles are increasingly being used in the medical industry, especially in the dental sector, for various purposes including target imaging for cancer therapy and dental filling.
- Purdue-developed nanomaterial significantly enhances potential COVID-19 therapeuticon May 13, 2020 at 9:58 am
Solubility could be key to niclosamide being an effective drug against the SARS-CoV-2 virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy of Elsevier) Download image Purdue University scientist Yuan ...
- Seattle biotech startup OncoSenX raising more cash for cancer-fighting therapieson May 11, 2020 at 12:55 pm
Biotech startup OncoSenX is raising more cash to help support its pipeline of therapeutics that aim to kill cancer cells based ... based on a patented lipid nanoparticle gene delivery system ...
- Forget Iron Man, here are some other metals that are fighting for your healthon April 19, 2020 at 2:17 am
Back in late February, University of Queensland researchers revealed that a novel blood test that used gold nanoparticles to detect cancer had ... other metals that are fighting for your health ...
- Nanoparticle Drugs' First Target: Improving Your Sex Lifeon April 9, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Manufacturers integrate nanoparticles into socks to fight bacteria and odor (possibly poisoning wildlife in the process), and medical professionals use them in cancer research, brain imaging ...
- Techniques developed by astronomers to understand space could help fight against breast canceron July 2, 2019 at 8:16 am
Techniques developed by astronomers to understand space could help fight against breast and skin cancer, according ... and light-heated nanoparticles (photothermal therapy). The simulation looks ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
Nanoparticles to fight cancer
The Latest Bing News on:
Nanoparticles to reprogram immune cells
- Nanoparticle antivirals offer new way to fight coronaviruses but therapy is still in its infancyon May 22, 2020 at 1:30 am
With this in mind she and collaborators at the Pasteur Institute in Lille, France have, over the past few years, been developing a new approach to tackling viruses – including coronaviruses – that ...
- Direct control of dendritic cells for tracking and immune modulationon May 18, 2020 at 8:05 am
Dendritic cells (DCs) are one of our bodies' first line of defense against invaders, and are stationed like sentinels at all outer and inner surfaces as well as in most of our organs. When they detect ...
- Bioinorganic hybrid bacteriophage for modulation of intestinal microbiota to remodel tumor-immune microenvironment against colorectal canceron May 15, 2020 at 11:27 am
selectively increases immunosuppressive myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) to hamper the host’s anticancer immune response. Here, a specifically Fn-binding M13 phage was screened by phage ...
- Gasdermin: a novel therapeutic target for tumour treatment by activating anti-tumour immunityon May 12, 2020 at 5:00 pm
Next, the authors wanted to know whether the tumour suppression of GSDME was mediated by enhanced immune function ... mice lacking either CD8 + T or NK cells, indicating that killer lymphocytes ...
- Gene Disabling Nanoparticles Prevent Obesity In Animal Studieson May 11, 2020 at 5:00 pm
The activity of immune cell macrophages' ASXL2 gene was blocked because they ... Ph.D., and in a second set of experiments after they injected nanoparticles that interfere with the gene’s activity in ...
- Gene-disabling nanoparticles prevent obesity in miceon May 5, 2020 at 9:09 am
The researchers blocked the activity of a gene in immune cells. Because these immune cells — called ... after they injected the animals with nanoparticles that interfere with the gene’s activity.
- Deleting immune cell genes prevents obesity in mice on high-fat dieton May 5, 2020 at 12:43 am
By blocking a gene in certain immune cells, scientists have prevented ... In a second group, the mice were instead injected with nanoparticles that disrupt the gene’s activity.
- Nanoparticles enter living cells to gather cancer clueson April 30, 2020 at 7:49 am
A new imaging technique sends nanoparticles into living cells ... The particles selectively entered immune system cells known as macrophages, delivering a drug instructing cells to devour the ...
- Revolutionary imaging technique may help diagnose and treat canceron April 29, 2020 at 9:33 pm
In a study earlier this year, Smith and his team designed nanoparticles that helped ... The particles selectively entered immune system cells known as macrophages, delivering a drug instructing ...
- 'Decoy' nanoparticles can block HIV and prevent infectionon April 24, 2020 at 6:01 am
coating polymer nanoparticles with the membranes of T helper cells and turning them into decoys to intercept viral particles and block them from binding and infiltrating the body’s actual immune cells ...