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With Nanotechnology, Scientists Triple the Efficacy of a Breast Cancer Drug | India News


NEW DELHI: Anticancer drugs have a number of side effects. A lot of research has been done to ensure that they don’t end up killing cells that they shouldn’t or that they start accumulating in organs that should heal. Docetaxel, widely used to treat breast cancer, has been one of those “troublesome” drugs. It is highly toxic, difficult to attack, and continues to accumulate in the body.
Now a group of scientists from Haryana and Delhi have perfected a method to use docetaxel safely, with nanotechnology. In India, one in 22 women develops breast cancer, and this procedure could help billions.
“Docetaxel is a very old drug. It was developed at a time when toxicity standards were not strict. So we wanted to create an alternative, ”Dr. Avinash Bajaj, corresponding author of the study published in the prestigious German journal Angewandte Chemie, told TOI. The main problem with docetaxel is that it is not soluble in water. “That causes high toxicity, especially in the liver and kidneys.” Bajaj and his team, from the Regional Center for Biotechnology (Haryana), Amity University (Haryana) and the National Institute of Immunology (New Delhi), switched to nanomycells, a type of nanoparticle that absorbs water on the outside but not on the inside.
“The nanoparticles help make the drug more soluble … The kidneys rapidly excrete small molecules of the drug, but the nanoparticles reduce the excretion of the drug significantly. As a result, more drug accumulates in the tumor and not in the other organs. The result of the treatment is 2-3 times better than with the FDA approved docetaxel, ”Bajaj said. When four rabbits were given a conventional dose, they all died. Those who received the drug through nanomycells survived.
Even with drugs that use nanotechnology (there are some), a vehicle is needed to deliver the nanoparticles to the tumor. “Most nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems lead to uncontrolled release into the blood, causing systemic toxicity. We have used the vehicle-free delivery strategy. We pair it with a lipid, fat. More docetaxel is given in a single dose and it targets the tumor, ”Bajaj said. “Intravenous injection causes the accumulation of nanomycelia within the tumor, without affecting other organs. The enzymes produced within the tumor break the chemical bond, release docetaxel, and the tumor cells die.
The use of nanotechnology to deliver anticancer drugs also opens up options for a wider range of patients. “It is especially helpful for those who have an allergic response to chemotherapy or have high blood sugar levels,” said Dr. Suhas Aagre, a medical oncologist at the Asian Cancer Institute, Mumbai. “Nanomedicines are 15-20% more expensive. But the results are better. ”Bajaj added that the procedure could also be applied to treat other diseases such as Covid-19 or to administer anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids.

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