UC Research designs Nanoparticles to infiltrate and kill Cancer with no harm on healthy cells

UC nanoparticle designs target and treat early stage cancer cells by killing those cells with heat, delivered from inside the cell itself. Normal cells are thus left unaffected by the treatment regimen

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UC nanoparticle designs target and treat early stage cancer cells by killing those cells with heat, delivered from inside the cell itself. Normal cells are thus left unaffected by the treatment regimen.

Conventional treatment seeks to eradicate cancer cells by drugs and therapy delivered from outside the cell, which may also affect (and potentially harm) nearby normal cells.

In the effort to find ways to selectively pinpoint and target cancer cells while minimizing effects on healthy cells, it’s already been found in lab experiments that iron-oxide nanoparticles, when heated and then applied specifically to cancer cells, can kill those cells because cancer cells are particularly susceptible to changes in temperature. Increasing the temperature of cancer cells to over 43 degrees Celsius (about 109 degrees Fahrenheit) for a sufficient period of time can kill those cells.

The University of Cincinnati team has developed several novel designs for iron-oxide based nanoparticles that detect, diagnose and destroy cancer cells using photo-thermal therapy (PTT). PTT uses the nanoparticles to focus light-induced heat energy only within the tumor, harming no adjacent normal cells.

Sources and more information:

  • An Inside Job: UC-Designed Nanoparticles Infiltrate, Kill Cancer Cells From Within, uc.edu, 11/24/2014.
  • UC Research Tests Which Nano System Works Best in Killing Cancer Cells, uc.edu, 3/3/2014.

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