Using the new particles, the researchers were able to successfully shrink tumors in mice, using only one-third the amount of conventional cisplatin needed to achieve the same effect. That could help reduce cisplatin’s potentially severe side effects, which include kidney damage and nerve damage.
In 2008, the researchers showed that the nanoparticles worked in cancer cells grown in a lab dish. Now that the particles have shown promise in animals, the team hopes to move on to human tests.
“At each stage, it’s possible there will be new roadblocks that will come up, but you just keep trying,” says Stephen Lippard, the Arthur Amos Noyes Professor of Chemistry and a senior author of the paper, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Jan. 10.
Omid Farokhzad, associate professor at Harvard Medical School and director of the Laboratory of Nanomedicine and Biomaterials at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is also a senior author of the paper. Shanta Dhar, a postdoctoral associate in Lippard’s lab, and Nagesh Kolishetti, a postdoctoral associate in Farokhzad’s lab, are co-lead authors.
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