In the fight against cancer, it seems that drug-smuggling nanoparticles could play a part. From early stages of trials that are being conducted showed that cancer drugs that were couriered by nanoparticles may reduce the size of tumors in humans. Researches from BIND Biosciences in Boston filled nanoparticles with a cancer drug called Docetaxel and injected them into the blood of 17 people who had cancers that are normally resistant to that particular drug.
Forty two days after the drug was injected, two of the volunteers’ tumors had shrunk significantly while the tumors in the others had not grown. Docetaxel is said to not be able to differentiate between healthy and cancerous cells however, when injected into the body with nanoparticles, the drug was only released when the nanoparticles reacted with molecules on the tumor’s surface which means using up to 80% less of the drug to get the same amount into the tumor. According to Jeffrey Hrkach, senior Vice President at BIND, as a result of these tests, physicians should be able to increase the concentration of the drug without worrying about side effects but he also added that larger clinical trials are in the pipeline.