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Because science: sperm used to deliver cancer drug to tumors

Scientists work out a way to deliver cancer drugs to tumors, using sperm

By Anthony Garreffa from Dec 16, 2017 @ 19:31 CST

In the wonderful world of science, today we are happy to report that scientists have worked out a new way of a possible way to fight cancer: using sperm.

A team of researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Material Research Dresden have recently completed a study where they turned sperm into an effective drug delivery tool. If you were like me, you wouldn't know that sperm has many different benefits when it comes to delivering drugs.

First, sperm is mobile - the drugs can be encased so that it doesn't get diluted by body fluids or leak out, and they protect the drug from enzymes that could break them down. They also don't cause immune responses like other cell types, and they also don't duplicate and form unwanted colonies.

The researchers first tested their theory by soaking sperm in a drug called doxorubicin (a cancer-treating drug), something that would let the sperm take the drug up and store it inside of themselves. When the drug-loaded sperm is ready and aimed at an experimental tumor, they caused a huge 90% reduction in living cancer cells in less than 72 hours.

From there, the researchers used tiny iron-coated hats on the sperm cells that let them control the direction, and steer them head-first into a tumor. When these cells hit the tumor, the prongs of the hat spread open, releasing the sperm and penetrating the tumor. I swear, I'm not trying to use puns but they are just flowing out.

The researchers were able to show that sperm is better at fighting the cancer cells than just soaking the tumor in the drug, as the sperm is able to get inside of the cells and then deliver the drugs much deeper than normal.


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