Skip to comments.Tiny Capsule Effectively Kills Cancer Cells
Posted on 02/11/2013 5:46:33 PM PST by SeekAndFind
A tiny capsule invented at a UCLA lab could go a long way toward improving cancer treatment.
Devising a method for more precise and less invasive treatment of cancer tumors, a team led by researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has developed a degradable nanoscale shell to carry proteins to cancer cells and stunt the growth of tumors without damaging healthy cells.
In a new study, published online Feb. 1 in the peer-reviewed journal Nano Today, a group led by Yi Tang, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, reports developing tiny shells composed of a water-soluble polymer that safely deliver a protein complex to the nucleus of cancer cells to induce their death. The shells, which at about 100 nanometers are roughly half the size of the smallest bacterium, degrade harmlessly in non-cancerous cells.
The process does not present the risk of genetic mutation posed by gene therapies for cancer, or the risk to healthy cells caused by chemotherapy, which does not effectively discriminate between healthy and cancerous cells, Tang said.
"This approach is potentially a new way to treat cancer," said Tang. "It is a difficult problem to deliver the protein if we don't use this vehicle. This is a unique way to treat cancer cells and leave healthy cells untouched."
The cell-destroying material, apoptin, is a protein complex derived from an anemia virus in birds. This protein cargo accumulates in the nucleus of cancer cells and signals to the cell to undergo programmed self-destruction.
The polymer shells are developed under mild physiological conditions so as not to alter the chemical structure of the proteins or cause them to clump, preserving their effectiveness on the cancer cells.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
There is a similar nanomedicine cancer treatment prgm underway at UT-Arlington.
nano stuff, bout time. overdue considering how long its been around. wonder if universities have coursework on the subject yet!? /s
Although the focus appears to be breast cancer, I would think this is a monumental step forward for most, if not all, types of cancers as well.
Years ago a relative of mine who did cancer research told me that when they find a cure for cancer, they will also have the cure for AIDS. I guess we’ll see how true that is.
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