Nanotechnology used to
Kill Cancer Cells
July 28th 2005
Methods to Treat Cancer Through Nanotechnology
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT) in Boston have developed a method of delivering
chemotherapy to the cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells
undamaged. They dub the device the “smart bomb”. The research is
published in this month’s journal Nature.
The scientists use nanotechnology to protect a
medicinal supply of chemotherapy and angiogenesis agents until the
nanocell enters the tumor. The nonocell is described as a balloon
inside a balloon with angiogenesis agents in the outer balloon and
chemotherapy in the inner balloon. The angiogenesis agents cause tumors
The nanocell’s surface is designed to avoid drawing
the attention of the immune system. The nanocells are small enough
(only 200 nanometers) to pass through the tumor blood vessels. They are
not small enough to pass through healthy tissue blood vessels.
This therapy has many benefits over standard chemo and
radiation therapy. Patients are less likely to suffer nausea, vomiting,
hair loss and other side effects. Also, when tested on mice, the mice
using this therapy lived longer than their counterparts on traditional
chemo and radiation therapies.
The scientists have already tested the “smart bomb” on
mice with skin and lung cancer. About 80% of the mice lived twice as
long as those treated with conventional therapy. Most of the “smart
bomb” mice lived more than 65 days compared to untreated mice that lived
only 20 days.
It may be possible to deliver different drug
combinations for different types of cancers. The researchers found that
new treatment worked better on melanoma than lung
Angiogenesis pioneer researcher Judah Folkman, of the
Children's Hospital Boston said in a prepared statement "It's an elegant
technique for attacking the two compartments of a tumor, its vascular
system and the cancer cells,".
Scientists caution that it will be a long time before
human trials are done. The smart bombs might be used for medicinal
delivery for other illnesses.
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Keywords and misspellings: nono tecnology cemotherapy