Updated: MAY 15, 2013
Korean scientists develop nano substance that targets cancer cells
When a patient has an MRI or CT scan to diagnose cancer,a substance called a contrast medium is injected to enhance the body’s vessels and tissue.
The substance allows doctors to see changes in healthy tissue and can help them identify cancerous tissue.
Now, in what could be a breakthrough in cancer treatment, a group of Korean scientists has developed a new contrast medium made of nanoparticles that can also target cancer cells.
Nanoparticles filled with an anti-cancer drug were injected into mice with cancer.
The antibodies in the drug find and attach to cancer cells and then the nanoparticles release the anti-cancer drug into the cell, killing it.
Two groups of mice were part of the experiment — one group were injected with the nanoparticles, the other group wasn’t.
Within 48 hours, the cancer cells in the mice injected with the drug had shrunk to one tenth their original size.
“The nanoparticles can deliver anti-cancer drugs JUST to the cancer cells. Therefore, treatments can be more effective and smaller doses can be used.”
Doctors can check the progress of the treatment with an MRI, helping them to decide whether additional anti-cancer drugs are needed.
“The nanoparticles can deliver the maximum dose to the targeted cancer cells, helping the doctor determine the best time to inject the nanoparticles containing the anti-cancer drug.”
The new drug will undergo a clinical trial of more than five years before it is ready for commercial use.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News.
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