Polymer antibodies efficiently target and eliminate cancer cells

IMAGE: Synthetic polymer nanoparticles, or nanoMIPs, bind to cell surface via the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). The red dots represent the cytotoxic agent doxorubicin, which is delivered by nanoMIPs and… view more 

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Credit: F. Canfarotto et al./Nano Letters

A joint research team from Russia and the U.K. has demonstrated the possibility of developing a new type of anti-neoplastic drugs based on nanoMIPs, or “plastic antibodies.” NanoMIPs are synthetic polymers that can function as antibodies, selectively binding to target proteins on the surface of cancer cells. This approach could lead to a paradigm shift in the development of new methods for cancer treatment. The research was carried out by an international team from the University of Leicester, University College London, the Institute of Cytology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. The paper reporting the results of the study was published in Nano Letters.

The main drawbacks of most anti-cancer medications are their low specificity and the associated side effects. Conventional chemotherapy targets all dividing cells without exception, thus both healthy and cancer cells are affected.

However, the advances in cancer research have led to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms and the primary agents responsible


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