Nanotechnology in the treatment of cancer

United States - A team of researchers from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a new way to treat cancer by administering treatment to the diseased cells without killing cells.

Current treatments against cancer certainly target the diseased cells but also reach those in good health. This new method of treatment to prevent the development of cancer cells with cytotoxic agents, while preserving tissue not involved.

The team of researchers led by Dr Basu has made chemically modified nanoparticles to target and inhibit the signaling pathway proteins providing cellular proliferation. By blocking these signaling pathways, cancer cells can no longer multiply.

Nanoparticles target cancer cells while allowing chemotherapy agents act directly on them. The fact that the target only those cells and predispose them to receive treatment would use doses of medication weaker and more adapted to the patient. Side effects are less active and more easy to live for the patient.

Tests performed in the laboratory, combining nanoparticles and a drug used to treat several types of cancer (cisplatin) have demonstrated the effectiveness of this process to inhibit the development of cancer cells and even kill them. Tests on mice with melanoma have also proved inconclusive. In the group of mice treated with the combination of nanoparticles and the drug, 50% of mice had their tumors regress, against none in the group treated with medication alone.

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