NTU Singapore scientists devise ‘Trojan horse’ approach to kill cancer cells without using drugs
Researchers have been able to stop the growth of malignant tumors in experimental mice with nanoparticles that cause cancer cells to self-destruct.
To do this, a team of scientists from Nanyang Technological University coated 30 nm silica particles with a porous L-phenylalanine amino acid simulator. This substance is not produced in the human body, so cancer cells seek to get it..
The amino acid acts as a decoy and camouflage, thanks to which nanoparticles enter the tumor along with it, stimulating the excessive production of reactive oxygen species, which leads to self-destruction of cancer cells, but does not harm healthy ones. This does not require the introduction of additional drugs or activation of particles..
Laboratory experiments have shown that the method «trojan horse» kills about 80% of breast, skin and stomach cancer cells. This is comparable to that of conventional chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin. Nanoparticles also significantly slow down the growth of more complex forms of tumors..
Recall that recently scientists discovered a protein that turns cancer cells into normal cells.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Nanyang Technological University