To deliver a one-two nanopunch to triple-negative breast cancer tumors, researchers start with a lipid-coated sphere filled with the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (left). Then they add alternating layers of poly-L-arginine and an siRNA sequence (center), capped off by a layer of hyaluronic acid (right), which disguises the particle from the body’s immune system.
Women with triple-negative breast cancer, a rare but aggressive form of the disease, often find that it is difficult to treat. An early diagnosis allows more treatment options, but women with this type of cancer generally have a lower survival rate than those with other types of breast cancers. To tackle the disease, a team of researchers has developed a nanomedicine that delivers a one-two punch to tumors that weakens their defenses and obliterates them (ACS Nano 2013, DOI: 10.1021/nn4047925).