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U of Maryland researchers develop breakthrough technique to combat cancer drug resistance

University of Maryland researchers have developed a technique that uses specially designed nanoparticles and near infrared laser treatment to cause cancer cells to lose their multidrug resistance capabilities for days at a time, the university announced.
The ability for cancer cells to develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs – known as multidrug resistance – remains a leading cause for tumor recurrence and cancer metastasis, but recent findings offer hope that oncologists could one day direct cancer cells to “turn off” their resistance capabilities, according to the announcement.

New findings put forth by University of Maryland Fischell Department of Bioengineering Professor Xiaoming “Shawn” He and researchers from five other academic institutions point to the new technique being effective. Losing multidrug resistance capabilities for days at a time creates a therapeutic window for chemotherapy to combat even the most drug-resistant cells left behind after surgery or earlier treatment, according to the university.

The group's findings were published Feb. 8, 2018 in Nature Communications.

“By administering chemotherapy within this ‘therapeutic window,' oncologists could apply a lower dose of chemotherapy drugs to patients, with the potential for an improved treatment outcome – all while minimizing drug toxicity to healthy organs,” He said. He and several of the other researchers are BMES members.

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