Scientists have stopped prostate cancer stem cells (CSCs) in their tracks by incarcerating them inside self-assembling nanomaterials made of peptides, giving researchers hope that the trapped cancer cells can then be targeted for additional treatment with the assurance that they won't get away.
The international team of researchers built and tested the nano-sized traps and published their results in a recent issue of Cell Transplantation. "In this study, we have shown that prostate CSCs can be placed into stasis for an extended period of time without causing them to differentiate," study corresponding author Dr. Rutledge Ellis-Behnke was quoted as saying in Drug Discovery & Development. "If cells are prevented from migrating away from the treatment, they could be subjected to additional targeting."
DD&D reports this research "provides solid evidence" that CSCs may exist within tumors and might be responsible for some treatment failures, since they might be resistant to chemotherapy drugs. The authors speculated that by injecting the material directly into the tumor, it may be possible to stop the spread of metastatic cells, according to the report.