Combination therapies, particularly in cancer treatment, are a popular way of attacking aggressive diseases, but they often miss their targets. Genetic data is typically used as a guide for targeting, but genes mutate and tumors can consist of different strains. Now researchers at UCLA have developed a new technique for creating patient specific combination drug regimens that, at least in laboratory tests, have shown more effective than existing techniques. Moreover, to make the drug therapy even more powerful, the team used nanodiamonds in helping to deliver drugs to neoplastic cells.
Instead of focusing on genetics, the so-called Feedback System Control.II uses phenotypic information in evaluating the effectiveness of a particular drug combination. Once the optimal combo therapy has been identified, the drugs are assembled along with nanodiamonds attached to their surface. The compounds were introduced to cancer cell lines and the the nanodiamonds acted as anchors that prevented the drugs from being excreted by the cancer cells. This allowed the drug therapy to act for longer periods of time, getting the most out of each drug payload without harming as many healthy cells nearby.
“This optimized nanodrug combination approach can be used for virtually every type of disease model and is certainly not limited to cancer,” said Dr. Chih-Ming Ho, a professor of mechanical engineering at UCLA “Additionally, this study shows that we can design optimized combinations for virtually every type of drug and any type of nanotherapy.”