By coating radioactive gold nanoparticles with a green tea component, researchers of the University of Missouri have enhanced the delivery of the nanoparticles to tumors and their retention at the tumor site. In earlier work the researchers, led by Kattesh Katti and Cathy Cutler, showed us shrinkage of prostate cancer tumors in mice by using gold nanoparticles. However, they also found that a certain component in green tea, known as epigallocatechin-gallate (EGCg), was attracted to prostate tumor cells. By combining the nanoparticles with the tea component, the treatment will now be more efficient. The study results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
For the treatment, the size of a tumor is important in deciding whether surgical removal is an option. The smaller size can also have a positive influence on the success rate of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. In earlier research, the mice prostate tumors showed a 82% volume reduction and there were no side effects of the injected radioactive gold nanoparticles, also known as 198AuNP. The half-life of the nanoparticles is just 2.7 days and after three weeks there is no radioactivity anymore. The size of these small nanoparticles makes it possible to reach the tumor cells through the tumor vasculature, which often consist of small, fragile blood vessels.
The next step will be to acquire permission to perform clinical trials to test the effectiveness in human tumors. But before the clinical trials will start, the researchers will study the effect of the radioactive gold nanoparticles in dogs with prostate cancer.
Announcement from University of Missouri: Gold Nanoparticles Could Treat Prostate Cancer With Fewer Side Effects than Chemotherapy, MU Researchers Find…