Research ArticleCancer

Aptamers against mouse and human tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells as reagents for targeted chemotherapy

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Science Translational Medicine  17 Jun 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 548, eaav9760
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav9760

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Chemo hitches a ride

Anticancer agents such as chemotherapy are widely used; however, their efficacy and safety are hampered by off-target effects in surrounding healthy cells and tissues. To improve anticancer drug delivery, De La Fuente et al. identified four RNA aptamers that specifically recognized mouse and human myeloid cells infiltrating head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Conjugating chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin to these aptamers allowed drug delivery to the local tumor microenvironment in mouse models of breast cancer and fibrosarcoma via tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells and increased survival over the unmodified drug. This preclinical study suggests that RNA aptamers are a candidate approach to target drugs to tumors in humans.

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