A Nanoparticle-Based Combination Chemotherapy Delivery System for Enhanced Tumor Killing by Dynamic Rewiring of Signaling Pathways

Sci. Signal.  13 May 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 325, pp. ra44
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005261

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Timing the One-Two Punch

Morton et al. developed a dual-drug, time-delayed nanoparticle delivery system for treating cancer. The nanoparticles contained two drugs (one in the membrane and one in the center) and were coated to target the nanoparticles to cancer cells. Cancer cells took up the nanoparticles. The first drug quickly escaped the nanoparticle, sensitizing the cells to the second drug, which escaped more slowly. In mice, tumors from cells that respond to the first drug were reduced when the mice were treated with the dual-drug nanoparticles, but the tumors continued to grow in mice receiving only single-drug therapy. This time-delayed, nanoparticle-mediated drug delivery may avoid the resistance that cancer cells develop to chemotherapy.