April 17, 2009
Nanoparticles boost cancer treatment
U.S. researchers say combining nanoparticles with a scorpion venom compound can cut the spread of cancerous brain tumor cells by 98 percent.
The University of Washington said the nanoparticles more than double the effectiveness of chlorotoxin, a small peptide isolated from scorpion venom.
People talk about the treatment being more effective with nanoparticles but they don't know how much, maybe 5 percent or 10 percent, Miqin Zhang, professor of materials science and engineering, said Friday in a release.
This was quite a surprise to us.
The findings are published in the journal Small.
Researchers said adding nanoparticles can improve a therapy by increasing the length of time the combination lasts in the body. Nanoparticles also boost effectiveness of treatment compounds because therapeutic molecules tend to clump around each nanoparticle, the report said.