Our featured image for this week comes from Italian researchers Caterina Cinti, Monia Taranta, Ilaria Naldi and Settimio Grimaldi. Their manuscript, Newly Engineered Magnetic Erythrocytes for Sustained and Targeted Delivery of Anti-Cancer Therapeutic Compounds discusses a red blood cell – based drug delivery system, which might be used to target cancer cells.
The image below is of engineered erythrocytes and is Figure 1 of the manuscript.
From the abstract:
Cytotoxic chemotherapy of cancer is limited by serious, sometimes life-threatening, side effects that arise from toxicities to sensitive normal cells because the therapies are not selective for malignant cells. So how can they be selectively improved? Alternative pharmaceutical formulations of anti-cancer agents have been investigated in order to improve conventional chemotherapy treatment. These formulations are associated with problems like severe toxic side effects on healthy organs, drug resistance and limited access of the drug to the tumor sites suggested the need to focus on site-specific controlled drug delivery systems. In response to these concerns, we have developed a new drug delivery system based on magnetic erythrocytes engineered with a viral spike fusion protein. This new erythrocyte-based drug delivery system has the potential for magnetic-controlled site-specific localization and highly efficient fusion capability with the targeted cells. Here we show that the erythro-magneto-HA virosomes drug delivery system is able to attach and fuse with the target cells and to efficiently release therapeutic compounds inside the cells. The efficacy of the anti-cancer drug employed is increased and the dose required is 10 times less than that needed with conventional therapy.
Newly Engineered Magnetic Erythrocytes for Sustained and Targeted Delivery of Anti-Cancer Therapeutic Compounds is freely available for you to read, comment on and rate.