Update on Targeting Specific Cell Types

The next generation of cancer therapies will safely destroy cancer cells through targeting mechanisms that home in on specific cell characteristics. These technologies will be also be used to build therapies for any condition that can be treated by eliminating errant cells - and one of those conditions is aging itself. Removing the buildup of senescent cells - eliminate their detrimental effect on the cellular environment - will be a part of any successful attempt to repair the damage of aging. The technology base for targeted therapies being developed by the cancer research community is ideal for that task. Here, Forbes looks at the state of the art: "If you look at where we were five years ago, there was nothing mature enough that the FDA would even consider [it]. Today, there are 20 to 30 small companies in both diagnostics and therapeutics. A handful of those are in clinical trials, and we expect another three or four will file applications this year ... Cancer researchers believe that further engineering the shape or surface properties of nanoparticles can enable the particles to actively target tumors, and thereby maximize their diagnostic or therapeutic function at the cancer site, while minimizing collateral damage to healthy tissue."

Link: http://www.forbes.com/claytonchristensen/2008/02/22/cancer-nanotechnology-therapies-lead-clayton-in_jw_0222claytonchristensen_inl.html

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