Delivering cancer treatment on a nanodisc helps eliminate tumors
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IMAGE: This is James Moon, Ph.D., and Anna Schwendeman, Ph.D. view more 

Credit: University of Michigan College of Pharmacy

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — In the wrestling match with cancer, chemoimmunotherapy is the new strong arm, and it is building muscle with a nanodisc disguised as “good cholesterol.”

Researchers at the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center designed this new delivery system – a drug hidden in a nanodisc – to increase the number of patients who can be treated successfully with cancer immunotherapy drugs.

The nanodisc is made of a synthetic version of high density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as “good cholesterol.” Then researchers attached doxorubicin, a widely used chemotherapy drug, to the nanodisc.

“With this, we can significantly improve anti-tumor activity of immune checkpoint blockers,” says James J. Moon, Ph.D., the John Gideon Searle Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.

In multiple mouse tumor models of colon cancer, researchers found up to 85 percent of the tumors were completely eliminated when combining the nanodisc-delivered chemotherapy with immune checkpoint blockers, a common immunotherapy treatment.

“And those that survived were resistant to tumor recurrence,” says Moon, co-senior author on the study, which will

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