Nanoparticle Helps Eradicate an Ovarian Tumor in a Day

A new kind of nanoparticle generates a tiny electric field when exposed to a magnetic field. The magneto-electric particles exploits differences in the electric properties of cancer cell's  membranes vs healthy cell's membranes, to punch holes in the membranes and enter to deliver taxol.

Slip Inside: In the presence of a magnetic field (H), magneto-electric nanoparticles cause pores to form in tumor cells, allowing cancer drugs in.

Researchers at Florida International University (FIU) have developed a novel approach to treating ovarian cancer that employs nanoparticles in combination with a magnetic field to target cancer cells while leaving nearby healthy cells untouched.

... the FIU team demonstrated how the so-called magneto-electric nanoparticles (MENs) enable the chemotherapy drug, Taxol, to completely eradicate a tumor within 24 hours while leaving the healthy ovarian cells intact.

This new technology ... separates the cancer cells from the healthy cells by exploiting differences in the electrical properties of the two kinds of cells' membranes.

This separation is achieved because of the unique properties of the MENs. ...the MENs can have their intrinsic electric fields controlled by the external magnetic field. This means that the MENs can operate as localized magnetic-to-electric-field nano-converters. In other words, the MENs can generate the electric signals that govern molecular interactions. By creating a particular electric field, the MENs change the membrane properties of the cancer cells and not the healthy cells making them more porous.

As the Scientific Reports articles describes it: “The interaction between the MENs and the electric system of the membrane effectively serves as a field-controlled gate to let the drug-loaded nanoparticles enter specifically the tumor cells only.”

“This is an important beginning for us. I’m very excited because I believe that it can be applied to other cancers including breast cancer and lung cancer,” said Sakhrat Khizroev, professor of electrical and computer engineering at FIU in the press release. [emphasis mine]

Tags: cancer treatment, magneto-electric nanoparticles

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I "Like" this article in spite of the fact I can't get "Like".
Thank you Ruth. This is great news. Two years ago in September my closest friend died of ovarian cancer and she was not yet 50 years old. Remember the big anti-cancer drive during Nixon's administration? We have come far and have far to go.

Another breakthrough in cancer treatment. A Stage 1 trial is underway for melanoma.

Innovative Vaccine Trains Immune System to Fight Melanoma

Loyola University Medical Center is enrolling melanoma patients in the first clinical trial in the Midwest of an experimental vaccine that trains a patient's immune system to fight the deadly cancer.

A batch of the immune system's killer T cells are removed from the patient and genetically modified in a Loyola lab. Two genes are inserted into the T cells so that they will recognize tumor cells as abnormal.

The patient undergoes high-dose chemotherapy to kill most of his or her remaining T cells. This will make room for the genetically modified T cells when they are put back in the patient. The modified T cells, it is hoped, will recognize the tumor cells as abnormal and then attack and kill them.

The purpose of the Phase 1 trial is to determine the optimum dose and whether the treatment is safe.

Melanoma is the sixth-most-common cancer in Americans, and the most common fatal malignancy in young adults. Incidence is rising dramatically. About 1 in 50 people will be diagnosed with melanoma. In the 1960s, it was 1 in 600.

Surgery is highly successful if the cancer is caught early. But if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the five-year survival rate is only 15 to 20 percent, according to the American Cancer Society.

"This is a terrible, devastating disease," Clark said. "It starts on the skin and can spread to just about anywhere in the body." The clinical trial is open to patients with metastatic melanoma who are no longer responding to standard therapy.

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