A paper from Dr. Zhen Gu’s lab, authored by Dr. Ran Mo, was recently published in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The paper, “Enhanced Anticancer Efficiancy by ATP-Mediated Liposomal Drug Delivery,” is one of the latest publications showcasing the group’s work to develop a targeted drug delivery system to treat cancer. The system involves smuggling an anti-cancer drug inside cancer cells using ATP before triggering its release inside the cell, thus increasing the efficacy of the drug and localizing treatment of the cancer. To deliver the drug, the researchers are using lipid-based nanocapsules that are already being used in other clinical applications, putting them closer to the clinic and real-world use. Dr. Gu notes that the work is in the same vein as earlier anti-cancer drug-delivery work his lab has undertaken, but it contains a key difference: the liposome-based technique allows the researchers to introduce additional ATP into the cancer cell, releasing the drug more rapidly. In a mouse model, the new technique has been shown to significantly decrease the size of breast cancer tumors compared to a treatment that uses the same drug without nanoscale liposomes.
To read more about how this exciting technique works, take a look at the feature by Matt Shipman on the Newsroom for UNC Health Care, or read the entire paper in Angewandte Chemie.