Nanolipogels (NLGs) Enable Co-treatment with Multiple Cancer Drugs at Once
A new drug transport technology, nanolipogels (NLGs), has been used to simultaneously deliver two different cancer drug treatments at once. Delivering an immune booster (Interleukin-2) and an inhibitor of a cancer defense mechanism (TFG-β inhibitor), the NGLs were shown to delay tumor growth, send tumors into remission, and dramatically increase survival rates in mice with melanoma.
The NLGs are a sophisticated system. The outer shell of each NLG is made from an FDA-approved, biodegradable, synthetic lipid that degrades in a controlled manner, is sturdy enough to encapsulate a drug-scaffolding complex, and is easy to form into a spherical shell. Each shell surrounds a biocompatible, biodegradable polymer matrix that is impregnated with tiny TGF-β inhibitor molecules. These near-complete spheres are then soaked in a solution containing IL-2, which gets entrapped within the scaffolding. The end result is a nanoscale drug delivery system that appears to fit the narrow parameters necessary for successful treatment. Each NLG is small enough to travel through the bloodstream, yet large enough to get entrapped in leaky cancer blood vessels.
The NLG lipid shells have the strength to carry drugs into the body, yet are degradable so that they can deliver their cargo. Ultimately, such a system could prove powerful not only for melanoma, but for a range of cancers.
The above story was taken in part from: National Science Foundation (2012, July 15). Elegant delivery: Sophisticated technique for delivering multiple cancer treatments may solve frustrating hurdle for combinatorial drug therapies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 16, 2012, from