Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanoparticles as destructive beacons to zap tumors

Date:
July 23, 2010
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
A group of researchers is developing a way to treat cancer by using lasers to light up tiny nanoparticles and destroy tumors with the ensuing heat.

A group of researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is developing a way to treat cancer by using lasers to light up tiny nanoparticles and destroy tumors with the ensuing heat.

Related Articles


At the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) in Philadelphia, they will describe the latest development for this technology: iron-containing Multi-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (MWCNTs) -- threads of hollow carbon that are 10 thousand times thinner than a human hair.

In laboratory experiments, the team showed that by using an MRI scanner, they could image these particles in living tissue, watch as they approached a tumor, zap them with a laser, and destroy the tumor in the process.

If this sounds like science fiction, it is not. The work builds on an experimental technique for treating cancer called laser-induced thermal therapy (LITT), which uses energy from lasers to heat and destroy tumors. LITT works by virtue of the fact that certain nanoparticles like MWCNTs can absorb the energy of a laser and then convert it into heat. If the nanoparticles are zapped while within a tumor, they will boil off the energy as heat and kill the cancerous cells.

The problem with LITT, however, is that while a tumor may be clearly visible in a medical scan, the particles are not. They cannot be tracked once injected, which could put a patient in danger if the nanoparticles were zapped away from the tumor because the aberrant heating could destroy healthy tissue.

Now the team from Wake Forest Baptist has shown for the first time that it is possible to make the particles visible in the MRI scanner to allow imaging and heating at the same time. By loading the MWCNT particles with iron, they become visible in an MRI scanner. Using tissue containing mouse tumors, they showed that these iron-containing MWCNT particles could destroy the tumors when hit with a laser.

"To find the exact location of the nanoparticle in the human body is very important to the treatment," says Xuanfeng Ding, M.S., who is presenting the work in Philadelphia. "It is really exciting to watch the tumor labeled with the nanotubes begin to shrink after the treatment."

The results are part of Ding's ongoing Ph.D. thesis work -- a multi-disciplinary project led by Suzy Torti, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry at Wake Forest Baptist, and David Carroll, Ph.D., director of the Wake Forest University Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, that also includes the WFB Departments of Physics, Radiation Oncology, Cancer Biology, and Biochemistry.

A previous study by the same group showed that laser-induced thermal therapy using a closely-related nanoparticle actually increased the long-term survival of mice with tumors. The next step in this project is to see if the iron-loaded nanoparticles can do the same thing.

If the work proves successful, it may one day help people with cancer, though the technology would have to prove safe and effective in clinical trials.

Dan Bourland, Ph.D., associate professor of radiation oncology and Ding's advisor, praises the high quality of Ding's work and says that the project is a strong example of today's "team science" that is needed for success in the biomedical fields.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Nanoparticles as destructive beacons to zap tumors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100721172952.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2010, July 23). Nanoparticles as destructive beacons to zap tumors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100721172952.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Nanoparticles as destructive beacons to zap tumors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100721172952.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins