Researchers from Rey Juan Carlos University (Spain) and PSL University of Paris (France) have developed a new photosensitizer with silica and ruthenium nanoparticles. This type of drug is activated by light when in the cancer cells and favors their elimination, a less aggressive photodynamic treatment for the patient.
The use of metal-based drugs, metal compounds with chemotherapeutic properties in cancer treatments, is of great interest to patients with different types of tumors. It is estimated that about 60% of all cancer patients have been treated with metal compounds, mainly platinum, at least once during disease development.
However, these metal compounds exhibit several problems in their therapeutic use due to their large number of side effects and the possibility that the tumor becomes resistant. In addition, they present problems with solubility in biological media and limitations as regards the doses that can be administered in some patients with immune system disorders due to tumor growth.
The development of new nano formulations of drugs used in various less aggressive therapies, such as photodynamics, is one of the studies that the COMET-NANO group in Rey Juan Carlos University works with. "These therapies are based on medicines called photosensitizers which, after exposure to a particular type of light with specific properties, produce a special oxygen form that can counteract cancer cells that lead to their death," explains Santiago Gómez-Ruiz, researcher of the COMET-NANO group .
Photoensitizers are therefore used for photodynamic therapy. When the cancer cells absorb them and are exposed to light, the drug is activated and the cancer cells are destroyed.
The study has treated the formulation of mesoporous silica nanoparticles less than 80 nanometers in size with a ruthenium derivative. (Photo: URJC)
The team's latest work has treated the formulation in mesoporous silica nanoparticles of size less than 80 nanometers along with a ruthenium derivative (Ru, low toxicity metal) having photodynamic activity under UV-A light. "Our goal is to study the possibilities of these ruthenium nanomaterial systems and the like in the photodynamic treatment of different tumors," says Gómez-Ruiz.
This work is the result of collaboration with Professor Gilles Gasser (ERC Consolidator) by Chimie ParisTech from PSL Université Paris (France) and researchers from Zurich University (Switzerland). It has been published in the Dalton Transactions newspaper, except that it is waiting for publication in the special volume "Bioinjected Reactivity for Coordinating Associations".
Today, there is only a formulation of a ruthenium compound studied in clinical trials, TLD-1433, prepared by the research group Mc Farland (UNC Greensboro, USA). Researchers at URJC and PSL Université Paris have shown that the nano formulation of the studied ruthenium metal diet improves the results of cell death on cancer cells after application of light and opens the door for future clinical trials of this type of therapeutic compound.
As Santiago Gómez-Ruiz goes on: "In this regard, our work will focus on drugs that can be activated by a less energetic and more benign candle for the patient than UV-A, such as red or infrared light, which would make them excellent candidates for a direct application in some tumors of therapeutic interest at present ". (Source: SINC)