“Backpack” will help fight cancer

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Microparticles that allow the immune system to fight tumors more efficiently were created and tested on laboratory mice by scientists at Harvard University in the United States.

Researchers at the laboratory of Samir Mitragotri constructed a particle designed to help macrophages – immune cells that kill infected people in the body.

Depending on the microparticles surrounding them, macrophages choose the direction of action, absorbing pathogens (M1 phenotype) or regulating tissue growth (M2 phenotype).

Cancerous tumors are able to “switch” the macrophage to the phenotype they need and entice to their side. As a result, macrophages, on the contrary, contribute to the growth of tumors and the spread of metastases.

Scientists at the Mitragotri laboratory created a “backpack” for macrophages – it consists of microparticles of hydrophilic polyvinyl alcohol, in which interferon gamma is dissolved, and clings to polymers on the cell surface.

The substance in the “backpack” switches the phenotype and has its own antitumor properties.

“Backpacks” secreting cytokines are able to support macrophages in antitumor mode up to five days after their delivery to the tumor. The results of the work of scientists are published on the website of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and in the journal Science Advances.


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