UNC Lineberger member Andrew Wang, MD, was senior author of a preclinical study published in the journal ACS Nano. Wang and collaborators found that they could improve cancer chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy treatments by delivering a combination of cancer-fighting drugs using nanoparticles.

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Andrew Wang, MD, a UNC Lineberger member, an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology, and an associate professor of molecular therapeutics at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have shown in a preclinical study that they can improve cancer chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy treatments by delivering a combination of cancer-fighting drugs using nanoparticles.

Andrew Wang, MD, a UNC Lineberger member, an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology, and an associate professor of molecular therapeutics at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, was senior author of the study published in the journal ACS Nano.

The study evaluated the impact of nanoparticles containing both the chemotherapy drug docetaxel and wortmannin, which is a drug used to sensitize the cells to treatment. The study found that wortmannin enhanced the therapeutic effect of docetaxel, and also increased the efficiency of radiation therapy in lung cancer and prostate cells in culture as well as in mice.

In addition, the researchers also showed that nanoparticles could release the drugs sequentially in order to increase their therapeutic effect.

Wang said he believes the study builds evidence for developing future chemotherapy drugs that are co-delivered with sensitizer drugs.

“This combination approach and sequential release provided much more effective treatment than giving either drug alone,” Wang said. “We can take advantage of this approach of co-delivering of drugs with synergistic action in drug development to further improve cancer care.”