September 9, 2009
Toward A Nanomedicine For Brain Cancer
In an advance toward better treatments for the most serious form of brain cancer, scientists in Illinois are reporting development of the first nanoparticles that seek out and destroy brain cancer cells without damaging nearby healthy cells. The study is scheduled for the Sept. 9 issue of ACS' Nano Letters, a monthly journal.
Elena Rozhkova and colleagues note the pressing need for new ways to treat the disease, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), which 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.
Image Caption: Brain cancer cells like those in this tumor could someday become the target of nanoparticles that in lab experiments seek out and destroy brain cancer cells without harming healthy cells. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
On the Net:
- American Chemical Society
- "A High-Performance Nanobio Photocatalyst for Targeted Brain Cancer Therapy"