Targeted nanoparticles incorporating siRNA offer promise for cancer treatment

May 20, 2007

The use of targeted nanoparticles offers promising techniques for cancer treatment. Researchers in the laboratory of Mark E. Davis at the California Institute of Technology have been using small interfering RNA (siRNA), sometimes known as silencing RNA, to "silence" specific genes that are implicated in certain malignancies.

One of the primary challenges associated with this type of therapy is delivering the therapeutic agent into the body and then to the tumor in a safe and effective manner. By using targeted nanoparticles, researchers have demonstrated that systemically delivered siRNA can slow the growth of tumors in mice without eliciting the toxicities often associated with cancer therapies. The results of this research are being presented this week at the NSTI Nanotech 2007 Conference in Santa Clara, CA.

The Caltech researchers have incorporated siRNA into nanoparticles that are formed completely by self-assembly, characterized the behavior of these nanoparticles and studied their safety and efficacy in mice.

Using extensive physicochemical and biological characterization, the investigators are able to estimate the composition of individual nanoparticles and to correlate the nanoparticle structure with its biological function. This quantitative approach provides unique insights into the design of more effective nanoparticle carriers.

According to the lead author of the study, Derek W. Bartlett, "Safe and effective delivery remains perhaps the greatest impediment to the clinical realization of small interfering RNA (siRNA) in cancer therapy. Formation of siRNA nanoparticles using cyclodextrin-containing polycations is one of the most promising strategies for systemic siRNA delivery, and such nanoparticles are expected to enter Phase I clinical trials by late 2007. Our most recent work examines the impact of various dosing schedules and surface modifications on the efficacy of these siRNA nanoparticles in preclinical cancer models. By combining the experimental data with a mathematical model of siRNA-mediated gene silencing, we illustrate several practical considerations that we believe will be directly relevant to the clinical application of siRNA-based therapeutics in cancer therapy."

Source: Elsevier Health Sciences

Explore further: Medical nanoparticles: local treatment of lung cancer

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Advancing medicine, layer by layer

Jul 02, 2014

Personalized cancer treatments and better bone implants could grow from techniques demonstrated by graduate students Stephen W. Morton and Nisarg J. Shah, who are both working in chemical engineering professor ...

Recommended for you

Medical nanoparticles: local treatment of lung cancer

Mar 05, 2015

Nanoparticles can function as carriers for medicines to combat lung cancer: Working in a joint project at the NIM (Nanosystems Initiative Munich) Excellence Cluster, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum ...

New nanodevice defeats drug resistance

Mar 02, 2015

Chemotherapy often shrinks tumors at first, but as cancer cells become resistant to drug treatment, tumors can grow back. A new nanodevice developed by MIT researchers can help overcome that by first blocking ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.