Taiwan’s NCTU, CMU team up to improve cancer treatment through nanoparticle-based immunotherapy

The “fucoidan” based magnetic nanomedicine has great potential to boost immunotherapy

Taiwan’s NCTU, CMU collaborate to develop nanoparticle-based immunotherapy (Photo by NCTU)

Taiwan’s NCTU, CMU collaborate to develop nanoparticle-based immunotherapy (Photo by NCTU)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In a collaborative project, Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University and China Medical University have successfully incorporated nanomedicine with immunotherapy, a major breakthrough believed to be able to boost the efficacy of tumor treatment.

Professor Chen San-yuan (陳三元) from NCTU Department of Materials Science and Engineering noted that immunotherapy, especially “checkpoint inhibitor therapy,” has become a prominent approach to treating cancers in recent years, according to a press release by NCTU.

Nevertheless, Chen pointed out that the immunotherapy could result in the immune system attacking healthy cells and cause side effects including skin blistering and stomach sickness.

To address the problem, researchers from the two universities worked together to employ “fucoidan” based magnetic nanomedicine conjugated with a checkpoint inhibitor and T-cell activators. The method has proven to be capable of containing cancer cells while boosting the growth of immune cells around tumors, thus increasing treatment efficacy and reducing side effects.

The breakthrough in technologies of reinventing nanomedicine can be applied to areas in drug delivery, biomedical materials, and immunotherapy, NCTU reckoned.

Results of the research have been published on the renowned journal Nature Nanotechnology, in an article titled “Combination of fucoidan-based magnetic nanoparticles and immunomodulators enhances tumour-localized immunotherapy.”