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12 August 2018. Many of today’s cancer drugs are given with intravenous infusions to bypass digestive acids and enzymes that degrade and interfere with the active ingredients. We reported last week on a team at University of Colorado’s medical campus in Denver proposing a way to formulate cancer therapies as oral drugs. Their technique — use the components in milk that enable mothers to pass antibodies to their babies, shielded from the digestive system. NIH is funding the research with a 4-year award.

For this task, the researchers plan to harness exosomes, a topic we’ve written on a few times recently. Exosomes are tiny — 40 to 150 nanometer — lipid-membrane containers in cells that gather up and secrete cytoplasm, the gel-like material outside the cell nucleus. While originally believed to carry out waste removal and other maintenance tasks, exosomes are shown in recent years to perform useful delivery functions carrying proteins and genetic material to other cells, and drawing increased attention from a range of biological disciplines.

Here are other stories we covered last week:

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