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Researchers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology (left to right) Yuval Harris, Dr. Hagit Sason-Bauer and Prof. Yosi Shamay

Israeli Nanotech May Be Able to Reduce Side-Effects of Chemotherapy, Scientists Say

Scientists say that new Israeli technology could dramatically reduce the side effects of cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, by making precision dosing possible for drugs that are currently administered to the whole body.

The invention could also revive numerous treatments that are today considered unsafe, and enable doctors to increase doses of some existing medicines, the team from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology suggests in a newly peer-reviewed research.

The main focus of the study – and the sole topic of the Technion team’s animal study – is inhibitors, which are drugs that block the growth factors that trigger cancer cells.

But a small number of chemotherapies was included in the lab testing and showed promise, the team said, indicating that the technology may also one day be used to reduce chemotherapy side effects.

Precision medicines are considered a promising way to treat cancer, but a major challenge is the technology required to deliver medicine to cancerous cells without taking it to other parts of the body. Particles called nano-carriers — also a key ingredient of most coronavirus vaccines — do the job well. But each nano-carrier is compatible with a limited range of drugs, and only a few dozen are available, meaning the vast majority of drugs can’t be given as precision medicine.

“The new nano-carrier actually enabled us to successfully treat mice with a medicine that normally can’t be used due to its intense side effects,” Prof. Yosi Shamay, head of the lab that conducted the research, told Israeli media. (TOI / VFI News)

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