20 June 2024
Revolutionary nanodrones enable targeted cancer treatment

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UNIST scientists, led by Professors Sebyung Kang and Sung Ho Park, have made an extraordinary breakthrough in cancer treatment. Their groundbreaking “NK cell-engaging nanodrones” have the power to precisely target and eliminate cancer cells, offering hope for previously untreatable forms of cancer.

Revolutionary Nanodrones Enable Targeted Cancer Treatment



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Wow, folks, have I got some exciting news to share with you today! Scientists at UNIST have made a groundbreaking discovery in the field of cancer treatment. They have developed these amazing little machines called “NK cell-engaging nanodrones” that can specifically target and eliminate cancer cells. This could be a game-changer for treating those tough types of cancers that have been really hard to tackle.

The Power of NK Cells

Before we dive into the details of these nanodrones, let’s talk about the natural killer (NK) cells. These cells are part of our immune system and play a crucial role in fighting against cancer. Scientists have been trying to find ways to harness the power of NK cells to develop effective cancer therapies. And guess what? The research team at UNIST has done just that!

Introducing the NKeNDs

So, what are these nanodrones all about? Well, they are called NK cell-engaging nanodrones, or NKeNDs for short. The scientists have designed and created these nanodrones using special proteins called AaLS protein cage nanoparticles. These nanodrones have two important features: cancer-targeting ligands and NK cell-recruiting ligands.

Targeting Cancer Cells

The NKeNDs are designed to specifically bind to cancer cells that overexpress certain proteins, like HER2 or EGFR. This means that they can seek out and attach themselves to these cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells alone. This is really important because we want to make sure that the treatment is targeting the cancer cells and not causing harm to the rest of the body.

Activating the NK Cells

Once the NKeNDs have attached themselves to the cancer cells, something amazing happens. They activate the NK cells! This means that the NK cells become supercharged and ready to eliminate those cancer cells. In laboratory tests, the NKeNDs have been able to effectively eliminate cancer cells without causing any noticeable side effects.

Promising Results in Mice

The scientists also tested the NKeNDs in mice with tumors. They found that when they administered the NKeNDs along with human NK cells, the NK cells were able to infiltrate the tumor sites and significantly suppress tumor growth. This is really exciting because it shows that the NKeNDs could potentially be used to treat cancer in humans too.

A New Approach to Cancer Treatment

This study is a big deal, folks. It’s a whole new approach to developing cancer treatments. By using these nanodrones, scientists are able to specifically target cancer cells and activate the immune system to fight against them. This could be a game-changer for treating cancers that have been really difficult to tackle in the past.

The Future of Cancer Treatment

Professor Kang Se-byung, one of the researchers involved in this study, is really excited about the possibilities that these nanodrones bring. He believes that this research opens up new opportunities for customized treatments that can address different types of cancer. The team is planning to continue their research to further explore the potential of these nanodrones in cancer treatment.

So, there you have it, folks. Nanodrones that can specifically target and eliminate cancer cells. It’s an incredible breakthrough in the field of cancer treatment, and it gives us hope for a future where we can better fight against this terrible disease.

SOURCE: Revolutionary nanodrones enable targeted cancer treatment

https://phys.org/news/2023-12-revolutionary-nanodrones-enable-cancer-treatment.html

FAQs

1. What are NK cells and how do they fight against cancer?

NK cells are a type of immune cell that play a crucial role in fighting against cancer. They have the ability to specifically target and eliminate cancer cells.

2. What are NK cell-engaging nanodrones (NKeNDs) and how do they work?

NKeNDs are nanodrones that have been designed to specifically bind to cancer cells and activate NK cells. They are made using special proteins called AaLS protein cage nanoparticles.

3. How do the NKeNDs target cancer cells without harming healthy cells?

The NKeNDs are designed to bind to cancer cells that overexpress certain proteins, while leaving healthy cells alone. This ensures that the treatment is targeting the cancer cells specifically.

4. What are the potential benefits of using NKeNDs in cancer treatment?

The use of NKeNDs in cancer treatment could potentially lead to more effective and targeted therapies. It can activate the immune system to fight against cancer cells and may offer new opportunities for customized treatments.

5. Have the NKeNDs been tested in humans?

While the NKeNDs have shown promising results in laboratory tests and in mice, further research is needed to determine their effectiveness in humans. The research team plans to continue their studies to explore the potential of these nanodrones in cancer treatment.



Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: NK cells, Nanodrones, Cancer treatment

Natural killer cell
Natural killer cells, also known as NK cells or large granular lymphocytes (LGL), are a type of cytotoxic lymphocyte critical to the innate immune system. They belong to the rapidly expanding family of known innate lymphoid cells (ILC) and represent 5–20% of all circulating lymphocytes in humans. The role of...
Read more: Natural killer cell

Cancer
Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread. Possible signs and symptoms include a lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss, and a change in...
Read more: Cancer

Cancer treatment
Cancer treatments are a wide range of treatments available for the many different types of cancer, with each cancer type needing its own specific treatment. Treatments can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy, targeted therapy including small-molecule drugs or monoclonal antibodies, and PARP inhibitors such as olaparib. Other therapies...
Read more: Cancer treatment

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