Potential Therapeutic with Nanoparticles for the Treatment of Breast Cancer

João Conde, principal investigator of the Cancer Nanomedicine at NOVA Medical School, published a study in the journal Advanced Healthcare Materials, which evaluates the potential of a new therapeutic system of nanoparticles for the treatment of breast cancer.


It is of great importance the development of new prodrugs encapsulated in polymeric nanoparticles that affect the proliferation of breast cancer cells, blocking the ability of a single cancer cell to grow into colonies and, therefore, form tumors, is of enormous importance”, says João Conde.

The researchers, also from China, Turkey and Iran, have developed a conjugate of nanomaterials that assemble spontaneously and are made up of a polymer associated with curcumin, a drug found in turmeric that has an antitumor effect. This allows for a prolonged release of the drug, while allowing the nanoconjugates to evade the immune system and thus reach cancer cells.

Inside these conjugates are gold nanoparticles, which are sensitive to radiotherapy to produce more reactive oxygen species, eliminating tumour cells more efficiently and locally. All of this has potentiated the therapy for the elimination of tumour cells, proven in cell lines and in an in vivo model of breast cancer.

In addition to NOVA Medical School, other institutions took part, such as the University of Nanjing in China, the University of Medical Sciences in Zanjan, Iran, and the University of Hacettepe, in Turkey. An example of the success of a worldwide collaborative project to find new therapies in the fight against cancer. 

Read the original article, titled "Prodrug Polymeric Nanoconjugates Encapsulating Gold Nanoparticles for Enhanced X-Ray Radiation Therapy in Breast Cancer" is available in Advanced Healthcare Material here.

Foto de André Luís Alves