Peptide shells provide a targeted cancer drug delivery system

Investigators at UC San Diego have developed a new technology designed to amp up delivery of a cancer drug. Scientists at the university coated nanospheres of paclitaxel with a peptide shell that stays intact as it travels through the circulatory system and is then split open by enzymes known to spur metastasis. The drug can then be directed straight to cancer cells at 16 times the regular dose, halting tumor growth. "We can start with a small molecule and build that into a nanoscale carrier that can seek out a tumor and deliver a payload of drug," said Cassandra Callmann, a graduate student in chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and first author of the report published in the journal Advanced Materials July 14. Release | Abstract