Chemo advances at MSU explained

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EAST LANSING, MI. (WILX) -- MSU is bragging about their advancements in chemotherapy in a recent press release.

The university recently sent out a release touting their new advances medicine, specifically monitoring chemotherapy concentrations.

Associate professor of biomedical engineering, Bryan Smith, created a process based around magnetic particle imaging (MPI) that employs superparamagnetic nanoparticles as the contrast agent and the sole signal source to monitor drug release in the body at the site of the tumor, according to the release.

"It's noninvasive and could give doctors an immediate quantitative visualization of how the drug is being distributed anywhere in the body," Smith said. "With MPI, doctors in the future could see how much drug is going directly to the tumor and then adjust amounts given on the fly; conversely, if toxicity is a concern, it can provide a view of the liver, spleen or kidneys as well to minimize side effects. That way, they could precisely ensure each patient remains within the therapeutic window."

Smith's team included scientists from Stanford University.

Together they used mice models to pair its superparamagnetic nanoparticle system with Doxorubicin, a commonly used chemotherapy drug, according to the release.

MSU stated that the results show that the nanocomposite combination serves as a drug delivery system as well as an MPI tracer.

"MPI is a new imaging technology that is faster than traditional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and has near-infinite contrast. When combined with the nanocomposite, it can illuminate drug delivery rates within tumors hidden deep within the body."

As the nanocomposite degrades, it begins to release Doxorubicin in the tumor. Simultaneously, the iron oxide nanocluster begins to disassemble, which triggers the MPI signal changes. It will allow doctors to see more precisely how much medicine is reaching the tumor at any depth, Smith said.

"We showed that the MPI signal changes are linearly correlated with the release of Doxorubicin with near 100-percent accuracy," he said. "This key concept enabled our MPI innovation to monitor drug release. Our translational strategy of using a biocompatible polymer-coated iron oxide nanocomposite will be promising in future clinical use."

A patent has been filed by Smith. He said that in addition, the individual components of the nanocomposite his team created have already earned FDA approval for use in human medicine. This should help speed FDA approval for the new monitoring method.

As the process moves toward clinical trials, which could potentially begin within seven years, Smith's team will begin testing multicolor MPI to further enhance the process's quantitative capabilities, as well as drugs other than Doxorubicin, he said.

Copyright 2019 WILX. MSU contributed to this report. All rights reserved.