Scottish scientists have successfully tested a “Trojan-horse” type drug that can kill cancer cells and drug-resistant bacteria without damaging nearby healthy tissues, the Evening Standard newspaper reported on Monday.
According to the newspaper, the scientists at the University of Edinburgh managed to create a drug that “tricks” malignant cells into assimilating the tiny cancer-killing molecule SeNBD. A special chemical food compound masks the molecule, which destroys the cancer cell from the inside after being assimilated. The drug is activated by visible light, which allows doctors to target specific areas and avoid damaging healthy tissue, the newspaper said.
“SeNBD is one of the smallest photosensitisers ever made and its use as a ‘Trojan horse’ opens many new opportunities in interventional medicine for killing harmful cells without affecting surrounding healthy tissue,” Professor Marc Vendrell, lead researcher in the study, was cited as saying by the newspaper.
He also noted that the research is an important step toward creating new, safer cancer therapies.
The peer-reviewed experimental study was conducted on zebrafish and human cells, but more research into the safety of the method is needed.