Cancer cells, like bacteria, can develop resistance to drug therapy, leading to relapse of disease. One approach showing promise in overcoming multidrug resistance in tumors is to combine two different anticancer agents in one nanoscale construct, providing a one-two punch that can prove lethal to such resistant cells. An example of this approach appears in the journal Small.
Huixin He and Tamara Minko led a team of investigators from academia and industry that used porous silica nanoparticles to deliver to cancer cells a traditional anticancer drug together with a therapeutic small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecule. Doxorubicin, the anticancer drug, kills tumors by triggering a form of cell death known as apoptosis, while the siRNA the researchers used suppresses the production of the protein Bcl-2, which malignant cells produce to stop apoptosis.
Source: The National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov)