Researchers released exciting news of a possible way to kill cancer cells from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The study used mice with cancer. Researchers used a “Trojan Horse” methodology to carry a nanoparticle to cancer cells, causing them “self-destruct.” The scientist was clear that this is not an approach that uses drugs, but uses a “delivery approach.”
It is impressive how scientists find such unique ways of treating and hopefully finding a cure for cancer. The scientists’ approach was to coat a nanoparticle with a particular amino acid called L-phenylalanine. Cancer cells usually require a similar amino acid to continue growing. Our bodies do not make the amino acid phenylalanine; it must come from foods we consume, such as dairy and meat.
The amino acid works to starve the cancer cells from the amino acids. Doctors often prescribe strict diets such as specific limiting proteins and even fasting. Such diets, however, are not possible for many people who have cancer, and this is another reason why this Trojan Horse approach is so promising.
The nanoparticle is about 30,000 smaller than a human hair is comes from a silica nanoparticle classified as “Generally Recognized As Safe” by the FDA. “This method of delivery of amino acid L-phenylalanine “effectively and very specifically” killed cancer in mice.
Having the delivery method using the FDA’s designation of “Generally Recognized As Safe” has another benefit. That is, there could lessen studies and time needed for and approval in the future to get this treatment to the public.
The scientist used mice which had breast, skin, and gastric cancer cells. Roughly 80% of the cancer cells were killed in the mice. This percentage kill rate is comparable when using chemotherapy drugs such as Cisplatin. It would indeed be a blessing if those who have cancer didn’t have to go through chemotherapy’s adverse effects.
As we are ever watching for legitimate and scientific-based approaches to the treatment and cure for all cancers, this new approach is worthy of keeping track of its development.