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Nanotechnology used to Kill Cancer Cells

July 28th 2005

Nanotechnology used to Kill Cancer Cells Nanocells

Non-invasive 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 to collapse. 

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 the new treatment worked better on melanoma than lung cancer

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.

By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


Keywords and misspellings: nono tecnology cemotherapy


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:40 PM