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Nano-Medicine : Is an emerging weapon to defeat cancer?

By: Pharma News | Views: 1089 | Date: 18-May-2013

(Md. Nurunnabi): Cancer an undefeated disease as no agent is invented to cure it to date. Numerous patients are suffering from different types of cancers such as bladder cancer, colon and rectal cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer, leukemic, melanoma, pancreatic, prostate, thyroid, lung cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, mouth cancers and so on. However, rate of cure is very low through different chemo therapeutic agents such as docetaxel, doxorubicine etc. Though different therapeutic windows are b

Nano-medicine: Is an emerging weapon to defeat cancer?

Nano Medicine

(Md. Nurunnabi): Cancer an undefeated disease as no agent is invented to cure it to date. Numerous patients are suffering from different types of cancers such as bladder cancer, colon and rectal cancer, endometrial cancer, kidney cancer, leukemic, melanoma, pancreatic, prostate, thyroid, lung cancer, breast cancer, brain cancer, mouth cancers and so on. However, rate of cure is very low through different chemo therapeutic agents such as docetaxel, doxorubicine etc. Though different therapeutic windows are being considered for cancer treatment such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and gene therapy, but survival rate are much lower than that of expectation.

Low bioavailability, higher toxicity, highly expensive and non-specificity along with other disadvantageous of chemotherapy are mentionable reasons for less effectiveness. Therefore, the major concern of scientists is to overcome those obstacles to enhance the potency of anti-cancer agents. Several renowned research groups across the world are focusing on that issue for years. However, mentionable progress is reported yet.

Rather chemotherapy, a new technology for cancer diagnosis and therapy is just under observation termed nanotechnology or cancer-nanotechnology. This technology is now considering one of the best and promising one for cancer therapy and diagnosis. Before telling regarding cancer-nanotehcnology, it is required to focus on the feature of modern chemotherapy for cancer treatment. The chemotherapeutic agents are; (a) toxic for cell, (b) nonspecifically enter into any kinds of cells either normal cells or cancer cells, (c) due to nonspecificity, a portion of initially administered drug accumulate by the cancer cells, (d) therefore normal cells also damages as well as cancer cells. Simply, the process is, a injected chemotherapeutic agent distributed over the body through systemic circulation and accumulated by cells. For example, a patient is suffering from breast cancer, whenever chemotherapeutic agents/drug administered by intravenously it distributed and accumulated by even liver cell, muscle cell, lung cells etc, thus a minimal portion could be reach to the breast cells.

On the other hand, the cell biologist have reported several unique properties of cancer cell compared to normal cells, such as receptors, cell morphology, properties of cell membrane. By the last decades, it has been reported that HER-2 receptors are over expressed in some breast cancer cells such as SKBR-3, MDA-MB231. From the study of cell morphology, it was observed that cancer cell membrane is porous. Most important observation from the last decade is that, growth/division of cancer cells is faster than that of normal cells. Therefore angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels) occurred to provided excess amount of nutrition for the new cells (eventually tumor, is the earlier stage of cancer). From those very unique observation, nanotechnologies was started to apply for cancer diagnosis and therapy.



Fig. A general chemotherapeutic agent/drug can be up-taken by both normal and cancer cells, whereas a nanomedicine could only be up-taken by cancer cells.

Recently, this nanotechnology which is applying in biological system is terming as nanomedicine, because the size of this medicine is less than 100 nm in diameter. Several fomous research groups such as Prof. Robert S. Lange (MIT, USA), Prof. Nicholas A. Peppas (U. Texas, USA), Prof. Ali Khademhosseini (Harvard, USA), Prof. Toshihiko WAKABAYASHI (Nagoya Univ. Japan), Prof. Hiroo IWATA (Kyto Univ. Japan), Prof. Yong-kyu Lee (KNUT, S. Korea), Prof. In-Ho Choy (EWU, S. Korea), Prof. Jinwoo Cheon (Yonsei Univ., S. Korea) and so many unmentioned research groups from USA, Australia, UK and Europe. Recently it was also observed that some research groups from India also focusing their research on nanomedicine. From the progress of nanomedicine research, we can simply demonstrate that it is most promising and prospectus strategies for new generation cancer therapy and early cancer detection. Multifunctional nanomedicine is another approach recently reported by several research groups. This nanomedicine could be used for cancer cell targeting, early cancer diagnosis and cancer treatment. Researchers are thinking that fighting with cancer would be easier through developing of an optimized multifunctional nanomedicine.  For cancer cell detection, quantum dots (optical imaging), iron oxide nanoparticles (MRI), gold nanoparticles (optical imaging) even organic dyes (optical imaging) could be considered. Very recently iron oxide nanoparticle has been approved by US-FDA for human application.

We may hope and dream that thousand of live will be safe by inventing nanomedcine sooner or later. However, lot of things should be done to optimize this technique, process and validation are required. To get the nanomedicne in market clinical trials and finally approval from the authorized institution such as US-FDA are required.

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