A group of researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) has reported that once-promising cancer drugs that were dismissed due to problems with high toxicity, poor stability, and low solubility could be revived again using nanotechnology.
According to a press release by the university, the group has concluded that a nanoparticle formulation of certain cancer drugs might be safer and more effective than those drugs in their original design, potentially bringing back drugs that seemed to be on the right track but failed to pass trials due to the aforementioned issues.
Specifically, the team of researchers worked with the chemotherapy drug known as wortmannin, which had shown promise in the treatment of ovarian, head and neck, cervical, and small cell lung cancer. They reported their findings in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The nano-method “decreased toxicity and increased stability, solubility and effectiveness,” said Andrew Wang, one of the senior authors of the University of North Carolina study. “Additionally, nanoparticle wortmannin can improve the efficacy of radiotherapy dramatically and is more effective than the most commonly utilized chemotherapeutics.”