Researchers have developed a new three-drug delivery system for cancer treatment, especially metastatic melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer - and shown that the system may have particular value with cancers like this that often spread through the lymphatic system.
The new technology takes advantage of nanoparticles that can migrate to, and increase the effectiveness of an attack on cancer cells in the body's lymph nodes. This can also reduce the development of drug resistance and the broader toxicity often associated with this type of chemotherapy.
The findings were made with laboratory animals, and just published in the Journal of Controlled Release by researchers from the College of Pharmacy at Oregon State University. The work was supported by an OSU startup fund, and a provisional patent has been granted for this technology.
"Melanoma can be a very difficult cancer to treat because it often metastasizes and travels through the lymphatic system," said Adam Alani, an assistant professor in the Oregon State University/Oregon Health & Science University College of Pharmacy, and lead author on this research.
"Melanoma has a high mortality rate because the lymph nodes tend to act as a haven for cancer cells, and allow them to resist treatment through chemotherapy," he said.