Scientists have acted upon and taken advantage of the swimming power of sperm to transport a cancer drug directly to a cervical tumour in lab tests. The new chemotherapy drug delivery system which can deliver a cancer drug directly to cervical tumours, is an approach developed by a team of German researchers that could help treat the deadly disease with minimum side effects.
The researchers, led by Mariana Medina-Sanchez, Mariana packaged a common cancer drug, doxorubicin, into bovine sperm cells and outfitted them with tiny magnetic harnesses. Using a magnetic field, a sperm-hybrid motor was guided to a lab-grown tumor of cervical cancer cells. The sperm then swam into a tumour, fused its membrane with that of a cancer cell, and released the drug. When unleashed by the thousands, drug-loaded sperm killed more than 80 percent of a cancerous ball while leaking very little of their payload en route. The new findings could pave the way for applications outside of chemo delivery for cervical cancer patients. However, further work is needed to ensure the system could work in animals and eventually humans, but researchers say the sperm motors have the potential to one day treat cancer and other diseases in the female reproductive tract.