Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancers amongst women. The existing treatments that are used to stop the spread of cancer tumor are either inefficient or they have devastating side effects on the human body.
One of these treatments is chemotherapy. Even though the treatment is capable of destroying cancer tumor cells, only a small fraction of the chemotherapeutic drug reaches the targeted cells. This inefficiency of the treatment is countered by administering a high concentration of the drug into the bloodstream. This in return paves way for toxic side effects.
The inefficiency of cancer treatments is highlighted when it comes to treating triple-negative breast cancer, which represents 10-17% of all the reported breast cancer cases. This breast cancer lacks the presence of HER2, estrogen, and progesterone receptors, the receptors that are usually present on the surface of a typical breast cancer tumor cells. Most of the existing cancer treatments target HER2 receptors, rendering them useless when it comes to treating triple-negative breast cancer.
A research was carried out by researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, regarding efficient breast cancer treatments. They conducted a series of experiments on mice and not only were they able to reduce the size of triple-negative breast cancer tumors in them, but their experiments had minimal toxic side effects as well. Their findings were published in the study,
“LHRH-Conjugated Drugs as Targeted Therapeutic Agents for the Specific Targeting and Localized Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer”.
One of the crucial aspects of the study was to target the drug at the right cancer tumor cell. Using luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH), which is usually found in mammals for reproduction, researchers were able to deliver the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel, along with prodigiosin, to breast tumors cells.
So far, no clinical trials have been performed on humans and researchers believe that continuing work on LHRH-targeted nanoparticles and therapeutic drugs will put them in a position to start performing these clinical trials in the near future.
Related journal article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-64979-1