Novel Chemotherapy Method Could Decrease Lung Cancer Tumor Size


The findings suggest that the CAR T-cell membrane-coated PLGA nanoparticles reduced tumor size after 1 dose of treatment.

Researchers from The University of Texas (UT) at Arlington and UT Southwestern Medical Center successfully established a biomimetic nanoparticle (NP) platform for the treatment of HER2+ lung cancer.1 The treatment was developed to offer a novel method to directly place a cancer-killing drug into the cancer cells.2

X-ray image of chest. Lung cancer concept - Image credit: cunaplus |

Image credit: cunaplus |

Lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer, with more than 1.8 million annual deaths worldwide, according to study authors.2

“Our method uses the patient's own cellular material as a trojan horse to transport a targeted drug payload directly to the lung cancer cells,” said Kytai T. Nguyen, PhD, lead author of a new study on the technique and the Alfred R. and Janet H. Potvin Distinguished Professor in Bioengineering at UTA, in a press release. “The process involves isolating T-cells (a type of immune cell) from the cancer patient and modifying them to express a specific receptor that targets the cancer cells.”2

Following the isolation of T-cells, the study authors loaded the membranes with chemotherapy medications before coating the NPs into small drug-delivery granules, injecting them back into the individual and directing the NPs to the tumor cells.1,2

“By delivering chemotherapy directly to the tumor cells, the system aims to minimize collateral damage to healthy tissues,”said Jon Weidanz, MPH, PhD, co-author, associate vice president for research and innovation and a researcher in kinesiology and bioengineering at UTA, in a press release.1

When developing the CAR T-MNPs, the study authors noted that they contained an anti human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) single-chain fragment variable (scFv) that could target tumor accumulation and therapeutic effectiveness.1 However, when the NPs are infused back into the patient, it misleads the immune system because the coated NPs can imitate forms of the immune cells.2

“The key advantage of this method lies in its highly targeted nature, which allows it to overcome the limitations of conventional chemotherapy that often lead to detrimental side effects and reduced quality of life for patients,” Weidanz said in a press release.1

Nguyen and researchers evaluated the NPs with cisplatin, an anti-cancer drug, to test its efficiency tumor reduction.2 The results found that the membrane-coated nanoparticles gravitated to areas in the body with tumors more than areas without the presence of tumors, causing a reduction in their size.2

The findings suggest that the CAR-T-MNPs reduced tumor size after just 1 dose of treatment.1

“This personalized approach could pave the way for a new era of medicine tailored to each patient's unique characteristics and the specific nature of their tumor,” Nguyen said, in a press release. “The potential for reduced side effects and improved effectiveness makes our technique a noteworthy advancement in the field of cancer treatment.”2

  1. Targeted chemotherapy via HER2-based chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) engineered T-cell membrane coated polymeric nanoparticles. Science Direct. News release. Accessed February 28, 2024.
  2. Innovative chemotherapy approach shows promise against lung cancer. EurekAlert!. News release. February 23, 2024. Accessed February 28, 2024.
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