Cancer Treatment for Everyone

Cancer docs say 'superblood' may work against deadly malignancies

April 3, 2018

Cancer care has seen its share of false dawns in recent years, with many new drugs failing to live up to their early promise. But now there’s great excitement over so-called “superblood” — red blood cells that have been chemically modified to deliver cancer-killing drugs like L-asparaginase, an enzyme that blocks the nutrients cancer cells use to grow and multiply.

"The strategy is very clever," said Dr. Philip Low, a professor of chemistry at Purdue University and director of the university's Center for Drug Discovery.

Some researchers believe that doses of superblood could work against potentially deadly malignancies that are hard to treat with existing therapies. These include triple-negative breast cancer and pancreatic cancer as well as cancers of the liver, ovary, and colon.

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