Tandem Project

New Therapeutic Potential in Treatment of Cancer

Laboratory Study

The aim of the present Tandem Project is to develop different types of novel hybrid nanoparticles loaded with a natural product extracted from grapes, to explore its anticancer effect in liver cancer. The development of such novel hybrid nanoparticles will be conducted in the current project and target their production on a large industrial scale.

Merging herbal- and nanomedicine 
The non-surgical methods of cancer treatment include radiation therapy and chemotherapy, depending on agents that cause cellular death. An efficient therapeutic formulation is the one that exerts anticancer effect on tumor cells, while being safe to normal cells. In this regard, herbal medicine products exerting pharmacological activity known as nutraceuticals were proven promising. These nutraceuticals were reported to exhibit cancer-curative properties, with the advantage of being completely safe, so their uptake by healthy cells does not pose any toxicity issues. Despite the fact that several research papers reported the success of these nutraceuticals in cancer treatment, only a limited number of clinical trials were initiated to assess their efficacy owing to problems related in their delivery; namely solubility and stability. 

In this regard, nanomedicine products (nanoparticles) were recently introduced as a solution for those two particular problems, hence providing means for overcoming the problems of conventional anticancer drugs. Nanoparticles are defined as very minute sized particles with a diameter less than one micrometer. These nanoparticles were shown to increase the intracellular concentration of drugs, by virtue of their enhanced internalization properties, hence leading to optimization of their therapeutic efficacy. Therefore, the merger between herbal medicine and nanomedicine for treatment of cancer is considered a promising avenue of research. Moreover, a novel approach of creating hybrid nanoparticles of improved anticancer activity has emerged, leading to further advancement in cancer therapy and a close and long-term research cooperation between AGYA members Dr. Mohamed Abou El-Enein , Charité – Universitätmedizin Berlin, Germany and Prof. Dr. Maha Nasr  (pharmacy), Ain Shams University, Egypt.

The project team based in Egypt under the supervision of Maha Nasr published an article in the “European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics” focussing on hybrid nanoparticulate carriers as new treatment strategy against liver cancer. The paper reports on new nanoformulations for these carriers, which have been developed in order to overcome the clinical challenges, enhance the therapeutic efficacy, and elicit chemotherapy tailor-ability.