Gold Particles May Provide New Defense Against Cancer

May 5, 2009

US (ChattahBox) – Researchers at MIT have developed tiny gold nanarods, particles that can home in on tumors, and target fatal heat to the cancerous growth.

Because chemotherapy is so hazardous, and because the majority of treatments never reach the tumor, this is a huge step towards curing cancer, and it is hoped that these nanarods will revolutionize the way tumors are destroyed.

“This class of particles provides the most efficient method of specifically depositing energy in tumors,” creator Geoffrey von Maltzahn said.

The method is much simpler then it may seem. Different light frequencies are absorbed through the nanarods, which are then injected into the body of the cancer patient. The light used is near infrared, and it targets the tumor, heating it, and destroying it.

The particles have been found to effectively eliminate tumors in mice, and those treated lived three months more then those who did not receive the nanarods.

The study has been published in both Cancer Research and Advanced Materials.

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