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A Molecule That Could Battle Breast Cancer

Researchers have developed a new technique that uses a so-called “energy molecule” to trigger the release of anti-cancer drugs directly into cancer cells. It may be especially effective in breast cancer treatment.

The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

Once inside the cancer cells, the molecule, adenosine-5’-triphosphate (ATP), releases its “payload”: a collection of molecules embed with an anti-cancer drug called doxorubicin, which targets the nucleus of the cancer cell.

“This is a proof of concept, but we’ve demonstrated there is now a new tool for introducing anti-cancer drugs directly into cancer cells – and that should make drug treatments significantly more effective,” said Zhen Gu, senior author of a paper on the research and an assistant professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at North Carolina State and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

“We also believe that we’ll be able to make the technique even more targeted by manipulating ATP levels in specific areas,” Gu added.

 

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