A new method for delivering chemotherapy nanodrugs capable of increasing the drugs’ bioavailability and reducing side-effects has been developed by Carnegie Mellon University researchers. Their study has been published online in Scientific Reports and it demonstrates that administering an FDA-approved nutrition source before chemotherapy can help reduce the quantity of the toxic drugs that settle in the spleen, kidneys and liver.

Nanodrugs, drugs attached to small biocompatible particles, prove to be promising in the treatment of several diseases, including cancer. However, the delivery of these drugs is not extremely efficient — only about 0.7% of chemotherapy nanodrugs in fact reach their target tumor cells. The remainder drugs are absorbed by other cells, including those in the spleen, liver and kidneys. Building up of the drugs in these organs causes toxicity and side-effects that negatively impact the quality of life of patients.

Chien Ho, professor of biological sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, and his colleagues have now produced a novel way to enhance delivery of chemotherapy nanodrugs by employing Intralipid®, an FDA-approved nutrition source that helps to temporarily blunt the reticuloendothelial system — a network of tissues and cells found all over the body, including in the lymph nodes, spleen, blood and liver, that play a vital role in the immune system.

Image Credit:  Carnegie Mellon University

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