Plant-Based Nanoparticles: An Eco-Friendly Breakthrough in Lung Cancer Treatment

Researchers from multiple institutes have developed a novel, eco-friendly approach using plant-based bioengineered nanoparticles for lung cancer treatment, highlighting significant therapeutic advantages and potential for improved patient outcomes. The study emphasizes green synthesis as a cost-effective and biocompatible alternative to traditional methods, paving the way for future advancements in nanomedicine.


CoE-EDP, VisionRICoE-EDP, VisionRI | Updated: 11-07-2024 15:30 IST | Created: 11-07-2024 15:30 IST
Plant-Based Nanoparticles: An Eco-Friendly Breakthrough in Lung Cancer Treatment
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In a significant leap forward for cancer treatment, researchers from the JSS Academy of Technical Education, Meerut Institute of Engineering and Technology, Periyar University, and Ch. Devi Lal College of Pharmacy has unveiled a novel approach leveraging plant-based bioengineered nanoparticles to manage lung cancer. The study, published in the Journal of Future Foods, explores the green synthesis of metallic nanoparticles using secondary metabolites from plants, presenting an eco-friendly, cost-effective, and biocompatible alternative to traditional methods. These nanoparticles, including silver, gold, copper, zinc, selenium, platinum, and tin oxide, offer promising therapeutic advantages. The review highlights the potential of these nanoparticles, produced using phytochemicals like flavones, terpenoids, sugars, ketones, aldehydes, carboxylic acids, and amides, in the next generation of lung cancer treatments. The unique properties of nanoparticles, such as their nanoscale size and high efficacy, have drawn attention in medicine, particularly for cancer therapy. Silver nanoparticles, in particular, have shown extensive application in biological and medical fields due to their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. The green synthesis approach, which avoids harmful chemicals and minimizes toxicity, has been emphasized for its efficiency in producing stable and well-formed nanoparticles.

Lung Cancer: A Growing Global Crisis

Lung cancer remains a leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally, with a substantial increase in cases projected by 2027. The majority of lung cancer cases are attributed to cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke, making early detection and innovative treatment approaches crucial. The study underscores the interdisciplinary nature of green nanoparticles, which bridge chemistry, medicine, engineering, and biology, focusing on lung cancer detection, diagnosis, therapy, and prevention. Despite the promising results, the use of nanotechnology in medicine faces challenges, including skepticism about its safety and efficacy. However, the reviewed research highlights significant achievements in the biosynthesis of various nanoparticles and their application in lung cancer treatment. The authors conducted a comprehensive literature survey using electronic databases, providing a detailed overview of the advancements in green nanoparticles and their anticancer activity.

Green Synthesis: An Eco-Friendly Alternative

The synthesis of nanoparticles can be achieved through various methods, including ultraviolet irradiation, microwave irradiation, chemical reduction, photochemical reduction, c-irradiation, and sonoelectrochemical methods. These methods, while efficient, are often expensive and environmentally harmful, reinforcing the need for greener alternatives. The bottom-up approach, building materials atom-by-atom or molecule-by-molecule, has been particularly noted for its minimal defects and homogeneous chemical composition. The pathophysiology of lung cancer is complex, involving repeated exposure to carcinogens leading to genetic alterations and disrupted protein production. This review categorizes lung cancers into non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC), with NSCLC being the most prevalent. The potential for personalized therapy targeting specific genetic pathways represents a significant advancement in lung cancer treatment.

Harnessing Nature for Cancer Treatment

The study presents a compelling case for the use of plant-based bioengineered nanoparticles in lung cancer management. By harnessing the power of green synthesis and the unique properties of nanoparticles, researchers are paving the way for more effective, affordable, and environmentally friendly cancer treatments. As the field of nanomedicine continues to evolve, the integration of these innovative approaches holds promise for significantly improving patient outcomes in lung cancer therapy. Nanoparticles are attracting much attention in the fields of research and medicine due to their unique characteristics, such as nanoscale size, customized delivery, and high efficacy. Researchers have begun to examine nanomedicine for its potential in cancer therapy. Noble metals, including silver, gold, copper, zinc, and platinum, are typically preferred for the synthesis of nanoparticles. Silver nanoparticles, with an annual usage of 500 tons mostly for biological and medical applications, have garnered considerable attention for their antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Green synthesis of nanoparticles, with minimal toxicity, has been a popular research area for increasing biomedical applications, including the preparation of implantable biomaterial, molecular imaging, wound healing, and drug delivery.

The Future of Lung Cancer Therapy

Cancer ranks as a leading cause of death and a significant hindrance to extending life expectancy in every country. By 2027, the death rate from cancer is projected to increase by 70%, with the majority of cases being lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. In 2020, lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, was the second most common cancer to be diagnosed and the leading cause of cancer mortality, accounting for nearly one in ten cancer diagnoses and one in five fatalities. There are expected to be 2.2 million new cancer cases and 1.8 million cancer-related deaths annually. Lung cancer is the major cause of cancer death in men in 93 countries, owing in part to its high fatality rate. The majority of lung cancer cases are caused by cigarette smoking and tobacco smoke exposure, making surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and hormone therapy the most common approaches for cancer treatment and management. However, these current therapeutic agents are not only expensive and ineffective but also have severe side effects and toxicity on non-cancerous tissue. Green nanoparticles have ushered in a new era of interdisciplinary research covering chemistry, medicine, engineering, and biology, with a focus on lung cancer detection, diagnosis, therapy, and prevention. To the best of the researchers' knowledge, no comprehensive review concerning green nanoparticles from different metals for the study of lung cancer has been reported so far. This review highlights the biosynthesis of various nanoparticles and includes current examples of applying nanoparticles for lung cancer treatment along with a detailed mechanism of action and toxicity of green synthesized nanoparticles.

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