A “Trojan Horse” drug that can kill cancer and bacterial cells without damaging nearby healthy tissue has been successfully tested by scientists.
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh combined the tiny cancer-killing molecule SeNBD with a chemical food compound to trick malignant cells into ingesting it.
The peer-reviewed experimental study was carried out on zebrafish and human cells, but researchers say more studies are needed to confirm if it is a safe and swift method of treating early-stage cancer and drug-resistant bacteria.
Cancerous cells are “greedy” and need to consume high amounts of food for energy and they typically ingest more than healthy cells, said the University of Edinburgh.
By coupling SeNBD with a chemical food compound it becomes the “ideal prey for harmful cells” which ingest it “without being alerted to its toxic nature”.