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Nanotechnologies Against Cancer
July 7, 2009 22:41

Breast cancer cell

Scientists from the Institute pf Gene Biology (Russian Academy of Sciences) currently work on nanotransporters, which will deliver anti-cancer treatment to tumors. These nanotransporters are capsules, made of a special polymer, which provide delivery of a treating agent directly to the target cell, and to the cell part, in which it will show maximum efficiency.

Many treating agents haven't got any specificity to cells, in other words, they get inside any cell, whether it is cancer cell or healthy cell, and damage it. This is the reason why many oncological patients suffer, when they take chemotherapy, which is not effective enough (no significant gain in health) for the same reason. Many side effects can be reduced or even eliminated, when treating agent is delivered directly to nuclei of cancer cells. In the case, when nanotransporters are used for drug dlelivery, the treatment becomes several tens of times more effective.

Development of nanotransporters takes place in the laboratory of molecular genetics of intracellula transport, which holds a world priority in this field of science. Research is supervised by professor Alexander Sobolev. The laboratory is equipped with the up-to-date facilities, which allow studying processes, which take place inside a cell without damaging or destroying it. Scientists also have equipment, which helps cutting labour costs in research activities, for instance, a device, which can separate different cells inside cell culture, isolate wanted cells by means of a laser and eject them to tubes. Therefore, each tube will contain cells of one type, which can later be studied separately. No other laboratory in Russia can boast such equipment, the scientists claim. However, modern and expensive hardware cannot gurantee any discoveries. Today outstanding scientific achievements can result only from the union of modern research facilities and advanced ideas, both of which mantioned laboratory has, according to its employees.



In the nearest future the scientists plan to shift from studying cell cultures to testing nanotrasporters on animal models, and clinical trials are expected to follow soon. Recently performed (together with Dutch researchers) tests of the technology on laboratory animals showed that treating agents become much more effective - animals, who suffered from cancer, cured. Next step will be preclinical trials, and then - clinical trials, if previous tests would be a success.

Researchers believe that studying damaged cell is like exploring the railway from Moscow to St. Petersburg by means of studying only cross ties or only rails - the whole porcess is lost in this case. The cell is not a tube with a solution, but a very complicated structure, where moleules, espcielly large ones, move by means of special transport systems.

Transporters, which are currently developed for direct drug delivery, are almost universal, a kind of a platform. These structures can deliver vaious treating agents, thus curing various diseases, including cancer.


Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian technologies     

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