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Posts Tagged ‘tumor extracellular’


Avoiding chemotherapy toxicities

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Curator

LPBI

 

Nanoparticle ‘cluster bombs’ destroy cancer cells

New delivery method directly penetrates tumor cells, avoiding toxic side effects of cisplatin chemotherapy drug
The nanoparticles start out relatively large (100 nm) (large blue circle, upper left) to enable smooth transport into the tumor through leaky blood vessels. Then, in acidic conditions found close to tumors, the particles discharge “bomblets” (right, small blue circles) just 5 nm in size. Once inside tumor cells, a second chemical step activates the platinum-based drug cisplatin (bottom) to attack the cancer directly. (credit: Emory Health Sciences)

Scientists have devised a triple-stage stealth “cluster bomb” system for delivering the anti-cancer chemotherapy drug cisplatin, using nanoparticles designed to break up when they reach a tumor:

  1. The nanoparticles start out relatively large  — 100 nanometers wide — so that they can move through the bloodstream and smoothly transport into the tumor through leaky blood vessels.
  2. As they detect acidic conditions close to tumors, the nanoparticles discharge “bomblets” just 5 nanometers in size to penetrate tumor cells.
  3. Once inside tumor cells, the bomblets release the platinum-based cisplatin, which kills by crosslinking and damaging DNA.

Doctors have used cisplatin to fight several types of cancer for decades, but toxic side effects — to the kidneys, nerves and inner ear — have limited its effectiveness. But in research with three different mouse tumor models*, the researchers have now shown that their nanoparticles can enhance cisplatin drug accumulation in tumor tissues for several types of cancer.

Details of the research — by teams led by professor Jun Wang, PhD, at the University of Science and Technology of China and by professor Shuming Nie, PhD, in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory — were published this week in the journal PNAS.

* When mice bearing human pancreatic tumors were given the same doses of free cisplatin or cisplatin clothed in pH-sensitive nanoparticles, the level of platinum in tumor tissues was seven times higher with the nanoparticles. This suggests the possibility that nanoparticle delivery of a limited dose of cisplatin could restrain the toxic side effects during cancer treatment.

The researchers also showed that the nanoparticles were effective against a cisplatin-resistant lung cancer model and an invasive metastatic breast cancer model in mice. In the lung cancer model, a dose of free cisplatin yielded just 10 percent growth inhibition, while the same dose clothed in nanoparticles yielded 95 percent growth inhibition, the researchers report. In the metastatic breast cancer model, treating mice with cisplatin clothed in nanoparticles prolonged animal survival by weeks; 50 percent of the mice were surviving at 54 days with nanoparticles compared with 37 days for the same dose of free cisplatin.


Abstract of Stimuli-responsive clustered nanoparticles for improved tumor penetration and therapeutic efficacy

A principal goal of cancer nanomedicine is to deliver therapeutics effectively to cancer cells within solid tumors. However, there are a series of biological barriers that impede nanomedicine from reaching target cells. Here, we report a stimuli-responsive clustered nanoparticle to systematically overcome these multiple barriers by sequentially responding to the endogenous attributes of the tumor microenvironment. The smart polymeric clustered nanoparticle (iCluster) has an initial size of ∼100 nm, which is favorable for long blood circulation and high propensity of extravasation through tumor vascular fenestrations. Once iCluster accumulates at tumor sites, the intrinsic tumor extracellular acidity would trigger the discharge of platinum prodrug-conjugated poly(amidoamine) dendrimers (diameter ∼5 nm). Such a structural alteration greatly facilitates tumor penetration and cell internalization of the therapeutics. The internalized dendrimer prodrugs are further reduced intracellularly to release cisplatin to kill cancer cells. The superior in vivo antitumor activities of iCluster are validated in varying intractable tumor models including poorly permeable pancreatic cancer, drug-resistant cancer, and metastatic cancer, demonstrating its versatility and broad applicability.

The facts suggest that big pharma represents only a few companies in most fields of disease. They spend an enormous amount of money in lobbying congress and doctors to get them to do their bidding.They wouldn’t spend the money if they didn’t need to do so.The profit motive is central with patient well being only being practiced if it pays off.Cancer is a superb example, with new drugs being offered usually at astronomical prices in this country. Like wise the FDA is controlled by them and it is in their best interests to make the cost of developing new drugs outrageously expensive.Only big pharma can afford to get new drugs approved.
After the phase 3 trials are completed usually the documentation to ask for approval to market a drug is at least 100,000 pages long. The legal talent needed to compile such documents ( and this is only one of many documents produced in the process) is extremely expensive. The time taken for approval stretches into many years and then the drugs are often not approved.(only a small percentage are approved).
Antibiotics were one example of a group of drugs that really did cure many diseases. Big pharma found it didn’t pay to develop new antibiotics because the treatment was short and so successful that patients used the drugs only for a short time.
Over time, as Alexander Fleming forsaw, the bacteria would develop resistance, especially if they were extensively used indiscriminantly. Now many dangerous bacteria are resistant to many or all antibiotics and there is no treatment available. Since bacteria can pass this resistance to specific antibiotics to almost any species of bacteria, its only a matter of time before we will be back in the pre-antibiotic era.
SINCE IT DOES NOT PAY FOR BIG PHARMA TO DEVELOP NEW ANTIBIOTICS THEY ARE NOW NOT DOING SO AT ALL.
…..

“In the metastatic breast cancer model, treating mice with cisplatin clothed in nanoparticles prolonged animal survival by weeks; 50 percent of the mice were surviving at 54 days with nanoparticles compared with 37 days for the same dose of free cisplatin.”

I’m not so convinced after all. But this is perfectly in line with big pharma goals. Only an idiot would kill its main source of income.

…….

It is almost impossible to set up a conspiracy against big pharma’s abusive practices.Every avenue their high priced lawyers can think of to stop budding conspiracies has been blocked by law where possible. One possible road might be to do research and development in other countries outside US legal juristiction, however most drugs without FDA approval can and are stopped at the border and confiscated even if as in Canada the same drug produced in the US is being manufactured in Canada.Almost certainly Cisplatin is under patent in the US and the patent holder has the right to refuse the use of the drug for any reason they want, including being used in this cluster bomb drug. The manufacturer is almost certainly making huge profits from selling Cisplatin and I doubt they want to see a cheap drug cure many cancers. I guess the only way to go is to try and turn to a country like India.A number of cancer drugs were being sold by US patent holders at wholesale prices that were to high for most Indians. The government of India refused to allow these companies to patent their medicines in India and forced them to license the drugs and much cheaper prices.Most US patents are not operative in India, they can produce US style insulin pumps at a fraction of our cost as they can in China and Vietnam or Mexico. It would be difficult to send these pumps to buyers in the US from India but by shipping them from another country, say Canada or Mexico most would make it past customs. As for Cancer treatment, India and china have some very fine trained biochemist and doctors, who could easily apply many of the immunological treatments against cancer. All arms of the immune system have been used to produce miracle treatments that have cured some patients that were on their death beds.The treatments can be tested carefully in these countries, and improved by any methods including some I have suggested.By advertising in the US to cancer patients that they can inexpensively have these working treatments cheaply as a medical tourist, it is only a matter of time before they will cure the disease wholesale and break the medical industrial complex down. As far as generics that are not being produced here, by setting up a non profit corporation that produces any and all drugs that come off patent as a goal, at the cheapest price less a reasonable markup for cost of manufacture etc. one by one they will end the abuse of not producing or overpricing generics.

………

Significance

Successively overcoming a series of biological barriers that cancer nanotherapeutics would encounter upon intravenous administration is required for achieving positive treatment outcomes. A hurdle to this goal is the inherently unfavorable tumor penetration of nanoparticles due to their relatively large sizes. We developed a stimuli-responsive clustered nanoparticle (iCluster) and justified that its adaptive alterations of physicochemical properties (e.g. size, zeta potential, and drug release rate) in accordance with the endogenous stimuli of the tumor microenvironment made possible the ultimate overcoming of these barriers, especially the bottleneck of tumor penetration. Results in varying intractable tumor models demonstrated significantly improved antitumor efficacy of iCluster than its control groups, demonstrating that overcoming these delivery barriers can be achieved by innovative nanoparticle design.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/03/23/1522080113.full

 

  1. Engineering of self-assembled nanoparticle platform for precisely controlled combination drug therapy.
    Nagesh Kolishetti et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2010
  2. Enhanced anticancer activity of nanopreparation containing an MMP2-sensitive PEG-drug conjugate and cell-penetrating moiety.
    Lin Zhu et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2013
  3. Protein-assisted self-assembly of multifunctional nanoparticles.
    Maxim P Nikitin et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2010
  4. Photoswitchable nanoparticles for in vivo cancer chemotherapy.
    Rong Tong et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2013
  5. Investigating the optimal size of anticancer nanomedicine.
    Li Tang et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2014 
  6. Nanoparticles seek and destroy glioblastoma in mice
    Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute,ScienceDaily, 2011
  7. Nanoparticle ‘alarm clock’ tested to awaken immune systems put to sleep by cancer
    Norris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, ScienceDaily, 2014
  8. Injectable nanoparticle generator could radically transform metastatic cancer treatment
    Houston Methodist, ScienceDaily, 2016
  9. Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle
    UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center,ScienceDaily, 2014
  10. First-of-its-kind self-assembled nanoparticle for targeted and triggered thermo-chemotherapy
    Brigham and Women’s Hospital, ScienceDaily, 2012
 Researchers use optogenetic light to block tumor development
Uses light-triggered bioelectric current

Tufts University biologists have demonstrated (using a frog model*) for the first time that it is possible to prevent tumors from forming (and to normalize tumors after they have formed) by using optogenetics (light) to control bioelectrical signalling among cells.

Light/bioelectric control of tumors

Virtually all healthy cells maintain a more negative voltage in the cell interior compared with the cell exterior. But the opening and closing of ion channels in the cell membrane can cause the voltage to become more positive (depolarizing the cell) or more negative (polarizing the cell). That makes it possible to detect tumors by their abnormal bioelectrical signature before they are otherwise apparent.

The study was published online in an open-access paper in Oncotarget on March 16.

The use of light to control ion channels has been a ground-breaking tool in research on the nervous system and brain, but optogenetics had not yet been applied to cancer.

The researchers first injected  cells in Xenopus laevis (frog) embryos with RNA that encoded a mutant RAS oncogene known to cause cancer-like growths.

The researchers then used blue light to activate positively charged ion channels,which induced an electric current that caused the cells to go from a cancer-like depolarized state to a normal, more negative polarized state. The did the same with a green light-activated proton pump, Archaerhodopsin (Arch). Activation of both agents significantly lowered the incidence of tumor formation and also increased the frequency with which tumors regressed into normal tissue.

“These electrical properties are not merely byproducts of oncogenic processes. They actively regulate the deviations of cells from their normal anatomical roles towards tumor growth and metastatic spread,” said senior and corresponding author Michael Levin, Ph.D., who holds the Vannevar Bush chair in biology and directs the Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology at Tufts School of Arts and Sciences.

“Discovering new ways to specifically control this bioelectrical signaling could be an important path towards new biomedical approaches to cancer. This provides proof of principle for a novel class of therapies which use light to override the action of oncogenic mutations,” said Levin. “Using light to specifically target tumors would avoid subjecting the whole body to toxic chemotherapy or similar reagents.”

This work was supported by the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation.

* Frogs are a good model for basic science research into cancer because tumors in frogs and mammals share many of the same characteristics. These include rapid cell division, tissue disorganization, increased vascular growth, invasiveness and cells that have an abnormally positive internal electric voltage.


Abstract of Use of genetically encoded, light-gated ion translocators to control tumorigenesis

It has long been known that the resting potential of tumor cells is depolarized relative to their normal counterparts. More recent work has provided evidence that resting potential is not just a readout of cell state: it regulates cell behavior as well. Thus, the ability to control resting potential in vivo would provide a powerful new tool for the study and treatment of tumors, a tool capable of revealing living-state physiological information impossible to obtain using molecular tools applied to isolated cell components. Here we describe the first use of optogenetics to manipulate ion-flux mediated regulation of membrane potential specifically to prevent and cause regression of oncogene-induced tumors. Injection of mutant-KRAS mRNA induces tumor-like structures with many documented similarities to tumors, in Xenopus tadpoles. We show that expression and activation of either ChR2D156A, a blue-light activated cation channel, or Arch, a green-light activated proton pump, both of which hyperpolarize cells, significantly lowers the incidence of KRAS tumor formation. Excitingly, we also demonstrate that activation of co-expressed light-activated ion translocators after tumor formation significantly increases the frequency with which the tumors regress in a process called normalization. These data demonstrate an optogenetic approach to dissect the biophysics of cancer. Moreover, they provide proof-of-principle for a novel class of interventions, directed at regulating cell state by targeting physiological regulators that can over-ride the presence of mutations.

A biosensor that’s 1 million times more sensitive

Aims at detecting cancers earlier, improving treatment and outcomes
A schematic representation of the miniaturized gold-aluminum oxide hyperbolic metamaterial (HMM) sensor device with a fluid flow channel, showing a scanning electron microscope (SEM) image [gray inset] of the 2D subwavelength gold diffraction grating on top of the hyperbolic metamaterials layers (scale bar, 2 µm) (credit: Kandammathe Valiyaveedu Sreekanth et al./Nature Materials
An optical sensor that’s 1 million times more sensitive than the current best available has been developed by Case Western Reserve University researchers. Based on nanostructured metamaterials, it can identify a single lightweight molecule in a highly dilute solution.The research goal is to provide oncologists a way to detect a single molecule of an enzyme produced by circulating cancer cells. That could allow doctors to diagnose and monitor patients with certain cancers far earlier than possible today.

“The prognosis of many cancers depends on the stage of the cancer at diagnosis,” said Giuseppe “Pino” Strangi, professor of physics at Case Western Reserve and research leader. “Very early, most circulating tumor cells express proteins of a very low molecular weight, less than 500 Daltons,” Strangi explained. “These proteins are usually too small and in too low a concentration to detect with current test methods, yielding false negative results.

“With this platform, we’ve detected proteins of 244 Daltons, which should enable doctors to detect cancers earlier — we don’t know how much earlier yet,” he said. “This biosensing platform may help to unlock the next era of initial cancer detection.”

The researchers believe the sensing technology will also be useful in diagnosing and monitoring other diseases.

A biological sieve

The nanosensor, which fits in the palm of a hand, acts like a biological sieve, capable of isolating a small protein molecule weighing less than 800 quadrillionths of a nanogram from an extremely dilute solution.

To make the device so sensitive, Strangi’s team faced two long-standing barriers: Light waves cannot detect objects smaller than their own physical dimensions (about 500 nanometers, depending on wavelength). And molecules in dilute solutions float in Brownian (random) motion and are unlikely to land on the sensor’s surface.

The solution was to use a microfluidic channel to restrict the molecules’ ability to float around and a plasmon-based metamaterial made of 16 nanostructured layers of reflective and conductive gold and transparent aluminum oxide, a dielectric, each 10s of atoms thick. Light directed onto and through the layers is concentrated into a very small volume much smaller than the wavelength of light.*

“It’s extremely sensitive,” Strangi said. “When a small molecule lands on the surface, it results in a large local modification, causing the light to shift.” Depending on the size of the molecule, the reflecting light shifts different amounts. The researchers hope to learn to identify specific biomarker and other molecules for different cancers by their light shifts.

To add specificity to the sensor, the team added a layer of trap molecules — molecules that bind specifically with the molecules they hunt. In tests, the researchers used two trap molecules to catch two different biomolecules: bovine serum albumin, with a molecular weight of 66,430 Daltons, and biotin, with a molecular weight of 244 Daltons. Each produced a signature light shift.

Other researchers have reported using plasmon-based biosensors to detect biotin in solutions at concentrations ranging from more than 100 micromoles per liter to 10 micromoles per liter. This device proved 1 million times more sensitive, finding and identifying biotin at a concentration of 10 picomoles per liter.

Testing and clinical use in process

Strangi’s lab is working with other oncologists worldwide to test the device and begin moving the sensor toward clinical use.

In Cleveland, Strangi and Nima Sharifi, MD, co-leader of the Genitourinary Cancer Program for the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, have begun testing the sensor with proteins related to prostate cancers.

“For some cancers, such as colorectal and pancreatic cancer, early detection is essential,” said Sharifi, who is also the Kendrick Family Chair for Prostate Cancer Research at Cleveland Clinic. “High sensitivity detection of cancer-specific proteins in blood should enable detection of tumors when they are at an earlier disease stage.

“This new sensing technology may help us not only detect cancers, but what subset of cancer, what’s driving its growth and spread, and what it’s sensitive to,” he said. “The sensor, for example, may help us determine markers of aggressive prostate cancers, which require treatments, or indolent forms that don’t.”

The research is published online in the journal Nature Materials.

* The top gold layer is perforated with holes, creating a grating that diffuses light shone on the surface into two dimensions. The incoming light, which is several hundreds of nanometers in wavelength, appears to be confined and concentrated in a few nanometers at the interface between the gold and the dielectric layer.  As the light strikes the sensing area, it excites free electrons causing them to oscillate and generate a highly confined propagating surface wave, called a surface plasmon polariton. This propagating surface wave will in turn excite a bulk wave propagating across the sensing platform. The presence of the waves cause deep sharp dips in the spectrum of reflecting light. The combination and the interplay of surface plasmon and bulk plasmon waves are what make the sensor so sensitive. Strangi said. By exciting these waves through the eight bilayers of the metamaterial, they create remarkably sharp resonant modes. Extremely sharp and sensitive resonances can be used to detect smaller objects.


Abstract of Extreme sensitivity biosensing platform based on hyperbolic metamaterials

Optical sensor technology offers significant opportunities in the field of medical research and clinical diagnostics, particularly for the detection of small numbers of molecules in highly diluted solutions. Several methods have been developed for this purpose, including label-free plasmonic biosensors based on metamaterials. However, the detection of lower-molecular-weight (<500 Da) biomolecules in highly diluted solutions is still a challenging issue owing to their lower polarizability. In this context, we have developed a miniaturized plasmonic biosensor platform based on a hyperbolic metamaterial that can support highly confined bulk plasmon guided modes over a broad wavelength range from visible to near infrared. By exciting these modes using a grating-coupling technique, we achieved different extreme sensitivity modes with a maximum of 30,000 nm per refractive index unit (RIU) and a record figure of merit (FOM) of 590. We report the ability of the metamaterial platform to detect ultralow-molecular-weight (244 Da) biomolecules at picomolar concentrations using a standard affinity model streptavidin–biotin.

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