After several weeks of research, a Singaporean medical team has discovered a new method to treat and cure cancer patients without use of drugs.
The research team said that the new method, when applied, would cause the cancer cells of patients to self-destruct without use of drugs.
According to the team, this new treatment method, which was yet to be approved for human use, has been tested on mice where it killed about 80 per cent of breast, skin, and gastric cancer cells, which is comparable to conventional chemotherapeutic drugs like Cisplatin.
It was gathered that the treatment made use of a ‘trojan-horse’ nanoparticle coated with a specific amino-acid – L-phenylalanine – that cancer cells rely on to replicate.
In a recent report, nanoparticle which is approximately 30,000 times smaller than a strand of human hair has been codenamed Nano-pPAAM by the research team domiciled at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Once it finds its way into the cancer cells, Nano-pPAAM stimulates excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, a type of reactive molecule in the body, causing cancer cells to self-destruct while remaining harmless to the healthy cells, a statement from the Singapore University, revealed.
By removing the use of pharmaceuticals, the treatment solves the common issue of drug-resistant cancer cells and has the potential to revolutionise the effectiveness of cancer treatment, experts say.
“Against conventional wisdom, our approach involved using the nanomaterial as a drug instead of as a drug-carrier,” lead author of the study, Dalton Tay, said.
“Here, the cancer-selective and killing properties of Nano-pPAAM are intrinsic and do not need to be ‘activated’ by any external stimuli. The amino acid L-phenylalanine acts as a ‘trojan horse’ – a cloak to mask the nanotherapeutic on the inside.”
“By removing the drug component, we have effectively simplified the nanomedicine formulation and may overcome the numerous technological hurdles that are hindering the bench-to-bedside translation of drug-based nanomedicine.”