Bioengineering researchers at University of California, Santa Barbara have found that changing the shape of chemotherapy drug nanoparticles from spherical to rod-shaped made them up to 10,000 times more effective at specifically targeting and delivering anti-cancer drugs to breast cancer cells.
Their findings could have a game-changing impact on the effectiveness of anti-cancer therapies and reducing the side effects of chemotherapy, according to the researchers. Results of their study were published recently in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Conventional anti-cancer drugs accumulate in the liver, lungs and spleen instead of the cancer cell site due to inefficient interactions with the cancer cell membrane,” explained Samir Mitragotri, professor of chemical engineering and Director of the Center for BioEngineering at UCSB. “We have found our strategy greatly enhances the specificity of anti-cancer drugs to cancer cells.”