Light up those cancer cells…

There are many brute force, lack of precision methods with how medicine removes cancer cells regardless of their point of growth within the human body. Today’s New Scientist has a promising nanotechnology (let me reiterate: promising) article that I’ve been waiting for:

A new nanoparticle can multitask as a drug courier and a delivery reporter by glowing when it dumps its cargo inside tumour cells. The technique could allow doctors to see exactly which cells have successfully received a drug – if it gets approval for use in humans.

When I first learned that it was the carrier chemicals in chemotherapy which penetrated the impenetrable cell membranes — and NOT the cancer killing drugs themselves — which caused the devastation of hair loss, nausea and other ill effects of the treatment, I’ve been following any developments in this area that are nanotechnology related. Why? Because the promise is that non-toxic ‘nanobots’ of some type will be able to target cells, carry the cancer killing drugs in to the cells and ensure there are few ill effects.

Alison Ross, science information officer at Cancer Research UK, says: “Using nanotechnology to target drugs to cancer cells is an exciting technique and the nanoparticles engineered in this study are smarter than ever before.” But she adds that “more research is needed to discover whether these particles could be used to benefit cancer patients in the future”.

Still, research like this as well as accidental discoveries like this one are pointing the way to fundamentally different approaches to emerge to ongoing and vexing problems.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Connecting the Dots Podcast

Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.