Reuters reports on an article from the May issue of Cancer Cell Magazine about Australian company EnGeneIC's plans to more precisely target chemotherapy.
The method involves using antibodies on their surface of bacteria-derived nano-cells to target and latch on to cancer cells. Once attached, the nano-cell is engulfed and the chemotherapy drug is released directly inside the cancer cell. This has the advantage of ensuring that the chemotherapy drugs don't affect any bodily tissues other than the tumor(s).
The EnGeneIC delivery vehicles have proven safe in primate trials and resulted in significant cancer regression, and the company hopes to carry out human trials later in 2007 if it gained approval from Australian, U.S., European and Japanese regulatory authorities.
This is good news for all cancer sufferers. Current chemotherapy techniques involve flooding the body with toxic chemicals, much of which poisons the healthy body tissues instead of the tumor. Additionally, current methods use more chemotherapy drugs than would otherwise be necessary due to the fact that only a portion of the drugs reach the tumor site(s).