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Researchers To Use Nanoparticles To Enhance Chemotherapy

Update Date: Jul 08, 2014 02:33 PM EDT

Researchers at University of Georgia have developed a new formulation of cisplatin - a common chemotherapy drug that increases the drug's ability to target and destroy cancerous cells. 

The cisplatin drug can also be used to treat a variety of cancers, however it is more commonly prescribed to cancer of the bladder, ovaries, cervix, testicles and lung. 

Cisplatin has been known to be one of the effective drugs but some cancerous cells develop resistance to the treatment. 

Researchers have developed a modified version of cisplatin called Platin-M, which aims to overcome the resistance by attacking mitochondria within cancerous cells. 

"You can think of mitochondria as a kind of powerhouse for the cell, generating the energy it needs to grow and reproduce,"Shanta Dhar, assistant professor of chemistry in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator for the project, said in the press release. "This prodrug delivers cisplatin directly to the mitochondria in cancerous cells. Without that essential powerhouse, the cell cannot survive."

"This technique could become a treatment for a number of cancers, but it may prove most useful for more aggressive forms of cancer that are resistant to current therapies," said Rakesh Pathak, a postdoctoral researcher in Dhar's lab, according to press release. 

The study describing the newly developed drug, Platin-M has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

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