Some mouse models with cancer have been healed of their tumor by a therapy that has been developed by Chinese scientists to kill tumors. The improved anti-cancer therapy can be activated at specific tumor sites, and its effect is way better than the one of similar cancer treatments.
The study has been published recently in the journal Science Immunology, where the new cancer immunotherapy has been described. It is said to modify the immune system in a way that it becomes intolerant of tumors. Thirty percent of all cancer patients are actually tolerant of tumors.
The Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Fudan University had Wang Dangge lead a team that developed a highly tumor-specific inhibitor that is a typical immune checkpoint in a nanoparticle formulation.
Live-saving anti-cancer therapy based on nanoparticles developed by Chinese scientists
The popularity of the checkpoint inhibitor is increasing as it starts to be known as an anti-tumor drug. Proteins that make immune T cells unable to killing cancer are blocked by it. However, metastatic tumors or deep-seated one are hardly reached by suppressing proteins like PD-1 and PD-L1 even if the checkpoint inhibitor is used.
Wang’s team has combined nanoparticles that would carry PD-L1-targeting antibodies with a molecule that gets activated by light. Its name is photosensitizer, and its goals are, after it encounters a protein abundant in tumors, to produce oxygen species that kill tumors.
The nanoparticles have been helped by this combination to suppress metastasis and tumor growth to the lymph nodes and lung in the mouse models, offering them 80 percent of survival over 70 days. According to the study, this result has been compared to the complete mouse death that happened in 45 days when the group of Chinese scientists treated them with only PD-L1 antibodies.