Another Example of Targeting Cancer Cells

Via EurekAlert!: scientists "are reporting development of the first nanoparticles that seek out and destroy brain cancer cells without damaging nearby healthy cells. ... glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) [often] causes death within months of diagnosis. Recent studies show that titanium dioxide nanoparticles, a type of light-sensitive material widely used in sunscreens, cosmetics, and even wastewater treatment, can destroy some cancer cells when the chemical is exposed to ultraviolet light. However, scientists have had difficulty getting nanoparticles, each about 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, to target and enter cancer cells while avoiding healthy cells. ... The scientists' solution involves chemically linked titanium dioxide nanoparticles to an antibody that recognizes and attaches to GMB cells. When they exposed cultured human GMB cells to these so-called 'nanobio hybrids,' the nanoparticles killed up to 80 percent of the brain cancer cells after 5 minutes of exposure to focused white light." This research is representative of many other similar projects; this sort of approach typifies the impending next generation of cancer therapies.

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-09/acs-tan090909.php

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