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Vasc Cell. 2011 Nov 14;3:26. doi: 10.1186/2045-824X-3-26.

Nanoparticle mediated targeting of VEGFR and cancer stem cells for cancer therapy.

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  • 1Functional Genomics and Cancer biology lab, CME, VIT University, Vellore, India.


Angiogenesis is a crucial process in tumor pathogenesis as it sustains malignant cells with nutrients and oxygen. It is well known that tumor cells secrete various growth factors, including VEGF, which triggers endothelial cells to form new capillaries. Prevention of expansion of new blood vessel networks results in reduced tumor size and metastasis. Production of VEGF is driven by hypoxia via transcriptional activation of the VEGF gene by HIF-1α.Tumours are now understood to contain different types of cells, and it is the cancer stem cells that retain the ability to drive the tumour's growth. They are called cancer stem cells because, like stem cells present in normal tissues of the body, they can self-renew and differentiate. These cancer stem cells are responsible for the relapse of cancer as they are found to be resistant to conventional modes of cancer therapy like chemotherapy and radiation.In this review, a novel mode of treatment of cancer is proposed, which utilizes the twin nanoparticle to target endothelial cells in the niche of cancer stem cell. The nanoparticle discussed in this review, is a twin nanoparticle of iron coated with gold, which targets VEGF positive cell in the vicinity of cancer stem cell. In the twin nanoparticle, one particle will recognize cancer stem cell, and another conjugated nanoparticle will recognize VEGF positive cells, thereby inhibiting endothelial cells in the proximity of cancer stem cell. This novel strategy will inhibit angiogenesis near cancer stem cell hence new tumour cannot grow and old tumour will be unable to metastasize.

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