< Precision Biocompatible Cancer Treatment Technology Developed > (April 24)
- New next-gen treatment may enable cancer therapy with high success rate, less side effects
The Ministry announced that "a two-dimensional photosensitizer-nanosheet complex that uses a chemical that reacts to light (i.e. a photosensitizer) to target and destroy cancer cells" has been successfully developed.
The study was conducted by a team headed by Professor Min Dal-heui of Seoul National University with support from the Ministry's Basic Research Support Program (Individual Researcher, Group Research); the results were published in the April 11 issue of 2D Materials, an international journal in applied chemistry.
- Paper: Functional Manganese Dioxide Nanosheet for Targeted Photodynamic Therapy and Bioimaging In Vitro and In Vivo
Traditional cancer treatment relying on repeated administration of anti-cancer drugs and radiation therapy is both expensive and causes numerous side-effects that affect the entire body of the patient. Photodynamic therapy, on the other hand, uses harmless light to target only cancer cells, minimizing damage to healthy cells and providing a new alternative for treating cancer.
However, the photosensitizer, the key material used in photodynamic treatment, is often insoluble and remains in the normal tissue after the completion of therapy, which can reactivate when exposed to sunlight with the reactive oxygen generated by such a reaction causing serious damager to the skin and surrounding tissue.
The research team seized on manganese dioxide nanosheets, which is stable yet readily dissolvable in cancer tissue, to overcome the limitations of traditional photodynamic therapy, and developed a biocompatible, two-dimensional nanosheet capable of targeting cancer cells while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy cells.
The 2D photosensitizer-nanosheet complex selectively targets and destroys cancer cells in order to minimize damage to healthy tissue, and is effective even at 1/10 dosage compared to traditional photodynamic therapy. Since the substance breaks down easily in the body, it is less toxic. The effectiveness of the new nanosheet was demonstrated in animal testing, and is expected to find wide application in photodynamic therapy.
Professor Min explained the significance of the new breakthrough by stating that "the development of a 2D nanosheet will allow targeted treatment of cancer cells while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue, and may find application in treating a wide range of difficult cancers such as lung, esophagal and cervical cancer. The new therapy will lead to cancer treatment with less side effect and greater success rates."