An innovative approach to fighting cancer

Dr Cheong and team assessing mice which have received the new drug delivery approach

Dr Cheong and team assessing mice which have received the new drug delivery approach

Research into a new way of administering drugs may provide a breakthrough in the treatment of cancer. While cancer-curing drugs have already been developed, none are able to combat the disease without collaterally harming the individual.

A team at Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory established in February 2011 has been making headway into targeted drug delivery. Their approach could potentially deliver drugs directly to malignant tumours, eradicating them while leaving healthy cells intact.

Using Clostridium novyi-NT, an anaerobic bacterium, the team led by Dr Ian Cheong has been able to effectively target the release of drugs within tumours in mice, curing most of them.”Having seen the responses in animals, I hope that this drug delivery prototype will show the same benefit for human cancer patients,” says Dr Cheong.

Previously from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, Dr Cheong has continued his collaboration with them. The work has led to clinical trials for the use of Clostridium novyi-NT in humans.
Dr Cheong hopes that this novel approach can be applied to the administration of currently available drugs, increasing the efficacy of treatment: “If the clinical testing pans out, this research will increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy while reducing its side effects.”