Development of Nanodiamond-Based Platform for Enhanced Cancer Stem Cell Therapy and Cancer Imaging
Cancers are often composed of heterogenous tumor cell populations. It is evident now that for many cancers, a specific subpopulation of tumor initiating cells, termed cancer stem cells (CSCs), are the key contributors to tumor initiation, metastasis and recurrence. A common property of CSCs is chemoresistance, suggesting that CSCs can escape standard chemotherapy treatment and initiate secondary tumor growth and recurrence. Further complicating chemoresistance in CSCs and in overall cancer treatment is that multiple proteins can contribute to similar mechanisms of chemoresistance, rendering small molecule inhibitors useless across a broad spectrum of patients. Nanomedical-based approaches may provide a non-specific mechanical method for overcoming chemoresistance and treating CSCs. Using a nanodiamond-based platform, we have demonstrated a nanomedical approach to effectively treating chemoresistant CSCs as well as improving efficiency of imaging agents. As such, nanodiamonds exhibit great potential in improving how cancer is treated as well as diagnosed.