Tumor-targeting nanoparticles induce ferroptosis in cancer cells without need for external activation


The conjugated polymer nanoparticles (CPNPs) deliver iron for chemodynamic therapy (CDT) at the targeted tumor site. In contrast to photodynamic therapy, which requires external light activation, CDT does not depend on external activation. The system initiates tumor killing through ferroptosis, an iron-dependent and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-based form of cell death that is not heavily dependent on oxygen availability. This approach may be especially promising for the treatment of multidrug-resistant or photodynamic-resistant cancers such as hypoxic tumors. The CPNPs have demonstrated anti-tumor activity against melanoma cancer cell lines.

The flexible nanoparticle design allows for surface modification with a target cancer ligand. The iron reacts with the endogenous hydrogen peroxide that is elevated in many types of tumors to form ROS, leading to cell damage and death. The reaction does not require external stimuli for ROS production.

Key Benefits

o Mechanism is not dependent on external activation
o Mechanism is not heavily dependent on oxygen availability
o Flexible nanoparticle design enables conjugation with target cancer ligand


o Tumor-targeting nanotherapy, may be especially beneficial for hypoxic tumors

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