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Nanoparticle could prevent spread of metastatic cells

Researchers at the University of Michigan are in the midst of groundbreaking clinical trials involving a peptide known as PHSCN. The peptide, in combination with a nanoparticle, increases the treatment's potency by as much as 6,700 fold, according to NanoWerk.com.

Work relating to nanoparticles is on the cutting edge of medical research. A nanoparticle has the unique ability to bridge between bulk materials as well as atomic and molecular structures. New combinations of peptides and nanoparticles could block certain receptors within breast cancer cells that cause them to grow and spread.

While clinical trials are still underway, the initial results seem promising. Dr. Donna Livant of the University of Michigan and her team attached eight molecules of PHSCN to a nanoparticle and tested them with cultured breast tumor cells. The results showed that the construct was able to halt the spread of invasive breast cancer cells in an artificial membrane.

So far, researchers have found the PHSCN will significantly slow or prevent the spread of metastatic breast cancer in more than a third of patients.

According to BreastCancer.org, over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors currently live in the United States. 
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