Scientists developed polymer antibodies that can target and eliminate the cancer cells. This approach could leads to the development of new methods for cancer treatment.
The main drawbacks of most anti-cancer medications are their randomness, low specificity and the associated side effects.
Conventional chemotherapy targets all dividing cells without exception thus both healthy and cancer cells are affected.
The new findings have enabled novel and anti-neoplastic drugs that can distinguish between healthy and cancer cells by attacking and eliminating the specific molecular targets.
Cells in tumors rely on a constant supply of substances stimulating cellular growth. These substances known as growth factors come from outside the cell.
They can be identified by corresponding receptor proteins on the cell surface. The new medications suppress the binding of growth factors to the receptors as well as directly affecting their enzymes activity.
Researchers have shown that they can develop a new class of anti-neoplastic medicines based on a kind of particles called Nano sized molecularly imprinted polymers.
NanoMIPs are a synthetic polymer alternative to antibodies with a 3D structure that enables them to bind only to a certain fragment of a target protein.
Unlike antibodies, nanoMIPs can also carry additional anti-cancer agents.
Research proved for the first time that it is possible to synthesize nanoMIPs capable of selectively binding to the amino acid sequences of their target proteins capable of selectively binding to the amino acid sequences of their target proteins.
The study has also demonstrated the potential use of nanoMIP in targeted drug delivery applications.
NanoMIPs are synthesized in the presence of a target protein which leaves a “mark” on the nanoparticle.
This process is called imprinting and it can be compared to mold casting.
Through this process, nanoMIPs acquire the ability to selectively recognize the target molecule and bind to it.
It is not surprising that the development of new synthetic drugs against this type of targets is a promising area of molecular pharmacology attracting close attention of researchers all over the world.
Reference: ACS Publications