How can we get drugs to the liver to treat its dysfunction, without making it worse?
William Aryitey |
The second largest cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide is liver cancer, which has been particularly hard to treat because it destroys the body’s ability to metabolize drugs, making responses to traditional small-molecule drugs unpredictable. A paper by Daniel Siegwart and colleagues suggests nanoparticles could be one potential solution (1).
“Advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has a very poor prognosis with few therapeutic options. Sorafenib is the only available chemotherapeutic agent for HCC, and it extends median survival by only about 2.5 months,” says Siegwart. After seeing five small-molecule drugs fail Phase III clinical trials, partly due to drug toxicity, the team decided to explore alternative options for treatment.
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