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Drugs carried in cellular 'backpacks' help destroy solid tumors in mice

Drugs carried in cellular 'backpacks' help destroy solid tumors in mice

Health
July 10 (UPI) -- Nanoparticle "backpacks" with immune-stimulating drugs successfully helped T cells destroy solid tumors in mice, researchers report. Engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who developed the method found it could enhance the T cells' activity without harmful side effects. In a study published Monday in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the researchers report that 60 percent of treated animals' tumors disappeared completely in an early test of the method. The drugs are made of a gel from molecules of cytokine IL-15 held together by a cross-linker that degrades when the T cell reaches a tumor and is activated. Nanoparticles are between 1 and 100 nanometers in size -- comparatively, a human hair is 75,000 nanometers thick. "We found you could greatly improve ...