Targeted Cancer Therapy Keeps Medicine in Place

Targeted Cancer Therapy Keeps Medicine in Place
A Velcro-type protein that anchors a cancer-killing drug inside the tumor could open the door to safer and more effective cancer treatments.

Cytokine proteins show promise as a cancer treatment, but the proteins themselves can damage healthy tissue as well. To help keep the medicine in place, the team from MIT created a Velcro-type lock for the therapeutic protein that relies on lumican and collagen. Lumican binds with cytokine as well as collagen—of which there is a great deal more of in tumors--safely keeping the medication contained within.

In tests on laboratory mice, the cytokine/lumican therapy increased the animals’ survival rate by up to 90 percent.

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