Researchers from Northwestern University announced the discovery of a new method to kill B-cell lymphoma type cancers using synthetic HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol nanoparticles in the Jan. 21, 2013, issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
B-cell lymphoma is dependent on the uptake of natural HDL from which it derives fat content.
“The nanoparticle closely mimics the size, shape and surface chemistry of natural HDL particles. But it has one key difference: a five nanometer gold particle at its core. Thus, when the nanoparticle is incubated with human B-cell lymphoma cells or used to treat a mouse with the human tumor, it socks lymphoma with a double whammy. After it attaches to the lymphoma cell, the gold particle's spongy surface sucks out its cholesterol while the gold core prevents the cell from absorbing more cholesterol typically carried in the core of natural HDL particles. “
Natural HDL did not kill the cells or inhibit tumor growth. The nanoparticle was essential to starve the lymphoma cell.
The HDL nanoparticle was found to be just as effective as chemotherapy drugs in producing B-cell lymphoma remission in one small clinical trial.
The National Cancer Institutes reports that in 2012 there were about 70,000 new cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the U. S. with nearly 19,000 deaths. About 90 percent of those new cases were B-cell lymphoma.
The research was reviewed at the Eureka Alert website the date of publication.