Iranian researchers from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences produced a new type of anticancer drug nanocarriers by using magnetic nanoparticles to treat lung cancer.
The nanocarrier is able to transfer the drug into the tumor tissue by using an external magnetic field. The research was carried out at the laboratorial scale.
Magnetic nanoparticles modified with biodegradable copolymers are known as promising approach for the target drug delivery and controlled release of drugs to the target tissue in cancer treatment purposes. In this research, the researchers studied the application of these nanoparticles as nanocarriers of the hydrophilic cisplatin drug, and its anticancer effects in comparison with the free form of the drug. Although other drugs have been presented for the treatment of lung cancer, cisplatin is still considered as the main chemotherapy drug for the treatment of this type of cancer despite its numerous side effects.
Among the advantages of the application of iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles, mention can be made of their non-toxicity, compatibility and ability to be transferred to the target tissues. Therefore, the polymerized magnetic nanocarrier accumulates easily in the cancer tissues by using an external magnetic field. In addition, the anticancer nanodrug is easily released in the cancer cells when the environmental conditions change because the synthesized nanocarrier is sensitive to the pH value of the environment.
The dosage of cisplatin can be decreased without reduction in its therapeutic effects by using this nanocarrier, which results in decreasing its toxicity. This way, the harmful effects of cisplatin on human body decreases too.
Results of the research have been published in Journal of Microencapsulation, vol. 31, issue 8, 2014, pp. 815-823.