A collaboration between Harvard Medical School researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has utilized nanomedicine technologies to develop a drug-delivery system that can precisely target and attack cancer cells in the bone, as well as increase bone strength and volume to prevent bone cancer progression. Bone is a favorable microenvironment for tumor growth and a frequent destination for metastatic cancer cells. Targeting cancers within the bone marrow remains a crucial oncologic challenge due to issues of drug availability and microenvironment-induced resistance. In this study, engineered bone-homing polymeric nanoparticles for spatiotemporally controlled delivery of therapeutics to bone were developed, which diminish off-target effects and increase local drug concentrations. These findings were published online in PNAS (June 30th, 2014 edition) and suggest that bone-targeted nanoparticle anti-cancer therapies offer a novel way to deliver a concentrated amount of drug in a controlled and target-specific manner to prevent tumor progression in multiple myeloma.
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