Researchers Developing Nano Bubbles To Deliver Chemotherapy To Tumors

Elena V. Batrakova, Ph.D. Associate Professor Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics Eshelman School of Pharmacy University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC

Dr. Elena Batrakova

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Elena V. Batrakova, Ph.D
.
Associate Professor
Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery
Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics
Eshelman School of Pharmacy
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Batrakova: Deep down I was always was fascinated by the ability of biological systems to deliver various compounds to the disease sites. I believe, we have a lot to learn from living things. For example, immune cells, macrophages can feel inflammation and travel to this sited to deal with the problem, for example, kill bacteria, virus, or regenerate and support dying cells. So, when I realized that specific and targeted transport of therapeutics to cancer cells is very difficult task, I turned to nature. Exosomes are naturally occurring vesicles (bubbles) that offer distinct advantages that uniquely position them as highly effective drug carriers. They consist of cellular membranes with multiple sticky proteins on their surface. Exosomes by nature specialize in cell-cell communication and provide an approach for the delivery drugs to target disease sites. Plus, exosomes released by patient’s white blood cells are not immunogenic, because they are part of the immune system, so these tiny bubbles can be used for very precise and effective delivery of anticancer drugs to treat metastases, as well as primary tumors.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Batrakova: I think, we are on the verge of a development of new bio-inspired therapeutics that use natural mechanisms to treat cancer and other diseases.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Batrakova: Exosome-based formulations are the next generation drug delivery mechanisms. They combine small nanoparticle size with non-toxic effects, a high drug loading, and a low immunogenic profile. However, many technological, functional and safety features of this therapeutics are still to be addressed. Nevertheless, they promise an unparalleled efficacy in the treatment of many life-threatening conditions, including those lacking effective pharmacotherapy.

Medical Research: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Batrakova: We anticipate that in near future we will be able to produce various medicines based on these natural carriers that will be used in different diseases therapies. We actually already showed that these tiny bubbles can deliver drugs not only to cancer cells, but also to the brain to treat various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer disease, and HIV-related dementia.

Citation:

Myung Soo Kim, Matthew J. Haney, Yuling Zhao, Vivek Mahajan, Irina Deygen, Natalia L. Klyachko, Eli Inskoe, Aleksandr Piroyan, Marina Sokolsky, Onyi Okolie, Shawn D. Hingtgen, Alexander V. Kabanov, Elena V. Batrakova.
Development of exosome-encapsulated paclitaxel to overcome MDR in cancer cells. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 2015; DOI: 10.1016/j.nano.2015.10.012

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Elena V. Batrakova, Ph.D. (2016). Researchers Developing Nano Bubbles To Deliver Chemotherapy To Tumors 

More on Cancer Research on MedicalResearch.com

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