EVEN THE MOST CURSORY EXAMINATION OF
the workings of the human body reveals intricate
systems of startling complexity and interdependence.
Yet Huang-ge Zhang, a senior scientist at the James
Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of
Louisville, a part of KentuckyOne Health, is pioneering research in cancer treatment that is so remarkable
in its simplicity and efficiency that his colleagues
describe it as "genius" and "beautiful."
This year, Zhang and his team of researchers
discovered the first known evidence that edible
plants, such as grapes and grapefruit, possess
exosome-like nanoparticles previously only found
in mammalian tissue. Furthermore, they've shown
that these nanoparticles could be used to deliver
cancer drugs more effectively, less expensively
and with fewer adverse effects than drugs delivered
via synthetic nanoparticles.
These findings "have immense potential therapeutically," said Donald Miller, director of the Brown
Cancer Center and co-author of Zhang's studies.
"The use of exosomes as a delivery system has been
talked about, but it has not been feasible because
it's extremely difficult to get enough mammalian
exosomes to use in a clinically relevant way. He's
opened up an opportunity to use these plant-based
exosomes therapeutically in a very inexpensive
and practical way."
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