Lipid vesicles—tiny sacs with a phospholipid membrane—may some day given anti-cancer drugs a ride into the interior of malignant cells.Cell membranes are very selective in what they allow to pass into the cell's interior. Scientists at Roswell Park Memorial Institute, Buffalo, NY, have succeeded in devising vesicles that fuse with a cell's outer membrane. After fusion, the vesicle releases its contents into the cell.The lipid vesicles (liposomes) used in research so far contain largely water, but Demetrios Papahadjopoulos, PhD, and his co-workers already are conducting animal experiments in which the vesicles are loaded with anti-cancer drugs or antibiotics. Early results are promising, and it may even be possible to tailor-make liposomes for particular types of cancer cells.Roswell Park is a New York State Department of Health cancer center. Dr Papahadjopoulos is in the institute's Department of Experimental Pathology.
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