Researchers at the Institut Galien Paris-Sud have tested in vitro degradable polymers that could release drugs to cancer cells. This work makes it possible to imagine new vectors for cancer treatments.
During chemotherapy, cancer treatments are often injected intravenously into the bloodstream. They can therefore spread throughout the body. To improve the targeting of drug action, researchers are trying to develop new modes of transport, for example with nanoparticles (see article below).
Here, French researchers have developed new degradable biomaterials based on vinyl polymers. They have grown these polymers with molecules, namely gemcitabine, a drug used in the treatment of ovarian, bladder, pancreatic, breast and some bronchopulmonary cancers. A covalent bond has been created between the polymer and the drug. Then, the polymer must release its active principle at the right time, i.e. at the level of the diseased cells, and not too early.
An alternative to nanoparticles for anti-cancer treatments
In vitro, the researchers modified the characteristics of the polymer to find the most effective structure to act on cancer cells. For researchers, this type of degradable polymers would be an alternative to the use of nanoparticles to deliver anti-cancer treatments. We can also imagine adapting this technology to other pathologies.
This work, described in a CNRS press release, appeared in Chemical Science magazine.