doi:10.1038/nindia.2010.92 Published online 16 July 2010
Researchers have designed a new polymer that can release non-toxic doses of cisplatin, a first-response chemotherapy drug used to treat most types of cancer. Such a mechanism could help to regulate the delivery of cisplatin and thus avoid the damage caused to kidney cells by high doses.
The researchers created the polymer by binding platinum to glucosamine-functionalized polyisobutylene-maleic acid. The polymer self-assembled into a nanoparticle at a particular platinum-to-polymer ratio, after which it was capable of releasing cisplatin in a pH-dependent manner.
The nanoparticles were rapidly taken in by the cancer cells, and significantly improved antitumour efficacy in terms of tumour growth delay in breast and lung cancers and tumour regression in ovarian cancer models.
Furthermore, the nanoparticle treatment resulted in reduced nephrotoxicity.
The researchers anticipate that given the universal need for a better platinate, this reengineering could have a significant impact on the global clinical treatment of cancer.