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Biotech Medicine Science

Golden Nanocages To Put the Heat On Cancer Cells 97

Posted by kdawson
from the hot-in-here-or-is-it-me dept.
ElectricSteve writes "Researchers have been searching for a highly targeted medical treatment that attacks cancer cells but leaves healthy tissue alone. The approach taken by scientists at Washington University in St. Louis is to use 'gold nanocages' that, when injected, selectively accumulate in tumors. When the tumors are later bathed in laser light, the surrounding tissue is barely warmed, but the nanocages convert light to heat, killing the malignant cells. ... Although the tumors took up enough gold nanocages to give them a black cast, only 6 percent of the injected particles accumulated at the tumor site. They would like that number to be closer to 40 percent so that fewer particles would have to be injected. They plan to attach tailor-made ligands to the nanocages that recognize and lock onto receptors on the surface of the tumor cells. ... The scientists at WUSTL have just received a five-year, $2.1M grant from the National Cancer Institute to continue their work with photothermal therapy." Note that Gizmag features a stupid Subscribe nag that covers your screen after about a minute; sounds like a job for NoScript. Last year we discussed somewhat similar research using titanium dioxide nanoparticles to target a particular kind of brain cancer.
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Golden Nanocages To Put the Heat On Cancer Cells

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  • by timmarhy (659436) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @12:43AM (#31492238)
    I think we might actually see the end to cancer in our life time. only 50 years ago pretty much any cancer was a death sentence, but now if detected early they have 80% and up 5 year survival rates with some kinds.

    of course with cancer gone we will see many more old age illnesses due to an unnaturally long life. it'd be a nice problem to have i guess, to have people live so long that we hit biological age limitations.

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @01:46AM (#31492478) Homepage

    6%? What happened with the remaining 94%? Did they accumulate elsewhere (and then the whole thing is so far an epic fail)?

  • by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @02:56AM (#31492654) Homepage Journal

    Cancer is actually a biological age limitation.

    Most cell lines suffer telomere deterioriation as they age, i.e. as the cells in the line reproduce; cell lines which can halt this process before the telomeres are completely lost become "immortal" and are therefore cancerous. So in other words, cancer is the exact opposite of a "biological age limitation" -- it's the result of cells escaping the limitations of age.

  • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @04:54AM (#31493142)
    1. Don't link to Fox News. Ever. Murdoch peddles an insidious mix of propaganda and fluff that's intended to neuter our ability to think. The less attention you pay to it, the better.
    2. Silver poisoning doesn't just turn your skin blue: it also causes brain damage.
    3. The story you mention is a cautionary tale about quack medicine in general. "Alternative medicine" that works is just called "medicine". What remains is ineffective, unsafe, or in the case of this poor man, both.
  • by PReDiToR (687141) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @07:01AM (#31493662) Homepage Journal

    But if we're senile and insensitive, what difference does it make?

    I'm already insensitive, you clod!

  • by poetmatt (793785) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @07:28AM (#31493790) Journal

    I'm sorry, where is the logic there?

    Have you ever had your eyes open for the last 20 years about anything in existence?

    free on computing: it generally rocks
    free on healthcare: it generally rocks
    free food: that sucks?

    I'm an american and I think you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @10:42AM (#31496494) Homepage

    Ah, I see. So since you can't reason effectively, you just change the subject.

    "HTA" is not rationing. Furthermore, "HTA" *exactly* the same thing that insurance companies in the US already do today: examine treatment options with the goal of optimizing the cost-benefit ratio.

    Okay, that's not strictly true. Insurance companies couldn't care less about the benefit, so long as it reduces cost.

    And as an aside, availability of drugs is not an indicator of quality of care. Furthermore, while a wider variety of drugs may be *sold* in the US, that says absolutely nothing about actual availability on the ground.

    And no, I don't plan to read the rest of your little think-tank article. Organizations such as those are nothing more than shills for big business, and I have better things to do than examine their corporate-funded musings.

The world is no nursery. - Sigmund Freud

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