Prof. Santos and collaborators publish a paper in Nature Communications

Prof. Santos' Lab publishes for the first time a paper in Nature journals, after the one in PNAS also this year

Researchers at the University of Helsinki in collaboration with researchers from Åbo Akademi University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China) have develop a tumor-cell-exocytosed exosome-based nanomedicine for targeted cancer chemotherapy. Such nanomedicines enhanced tumor accumulation, extravasation from blood vessels and penetration into deep tumor parenchyma after intravenous administration. This new nano-tool open a new approach to use exosome-based nanomedicines for efficient cancer chemotherapy.

“This study highlights the importance of cell-based nanomedicines. These biomimetic nanomedicines promote the in vivo enrichment of drugs in tumor cells and in side population cells, such as cancer stem cells (CSCs), resulting in anticancer activity and CSCs reduction in subcutaneous, orthotopic and metastatic tumor models”, says the principal investigator and one of the corresponding authors of this study,  Hélder A. Santos, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Helsinki.

Nanoparticles-based drug delivery systems have shown promising therapeutic efficacy in cancer. To increase their targettibility to tumors, nanoparticles are usually functionalized with targeted antibodies, peptides or other biomolecules. However, such targeting ligands may sometimes have a negative influence on the nanoparticle delivery owing to the enhanced immune-responses.

Biomimetic nanoparticles combine the unique functionalities of natural biomaterials, such as cells or cell membranes, and bioengineering versatility of synthetic nanoparticles, that can be used as an efficient drug delivery platform.

The developed biocompatible exosome-sheathed porous silicon-based nanomedicines for targeted cancer chemotherapy resulted in augmented in vivo anticancer drug enrichment in tumor cells, demonstrating the potential of the exosome-biomimetic nanoparticles as drug carriers to improve the anticancer drug efficacy.

Original article

Tumor exosome-based nanoparticles are efficient drug carriers for chemotherapy
Nature Communications 23.8.2019
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-11718-4;

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Doctoral Programme in Drug Research

Hélder A. Santos

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