Gold Nanoparticles Could Seek And Destroy Cancer Cells

Stanford University researchers have made what may be a significant breakthrough in treatment of some forms of cancer by using nanotechnology to ensure that cancerous cells are isolated for treatment.

In an article, which has been published in Nature Medicine this week and reported in New Scientist here, the researchers, led by Sanjiv Gambhir have used the helpful properties of gold nanoparticles to effectively tag cancerous cells, which in turn means treatments can be targeted at those cells, ensuring that all cells are captured and furthermore that no healthy tissue is affected, clearly an advantage in neurological tumours.

Cleverly the researchers have used the relative “leakiness” of blood vessels in cancerous tissues to their advantage as gold nanoparticles, will selectively target cells in these more accessible tissues.

MRI can then be used to locate and then map the tumours. The next stage for the researchers obviously involves motivating the nanoparticles to not only locate cancerous cells but also destroy them.

Source: New Scientist