Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanotube therapy takes aim at breast cancer stem cells

Date:
February 9, 2012
Source:
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have again shown that injecting multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into tumors and heating them with a quick, 30-second laser treatment can kill them.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers have again proven that injecting multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into tumors and heating them with a quick, 30-second laser treatment can kill them.

Related Articles


The results of the first effort involving kidney tumors was published in 2009, but now they've taken the science and directed it at breast cancer tumors, specifically the tumor initiating cancer stem cells. These stem cells are hard to kill because they don't divide very often and many anti-cancer strategies are directed at killing the cells that divide frequently.

The Wake Forest Baptist research findings are reported online ahead of April print publication in the journal Biomaterials. The research is a result of a collaborative effort between Wake Forest School of Medicine, the Wake Forest University Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, and Rice University. Lead investigator and professor of biochemistry Suzy V. Torti, Ph.D., of Wake Forest Baptist, said the breast cancer stem cells tend to be resistant to drugs and radiotherapy, so targeting these particular cells is of great interest in the scientific community.

"They are tough. These are cells that don't divide very often. They just sort of sit there, but when they receive some sort of trigger -- and that's not really well understood -- it's believed they can migrate to other sites and start a metastasis somewhere else," Torti explained. "Heat-based cancer treatments represent a promising approach for the clinical management of cancers, including breast cancer."

Using a mouse model, the researchers injected tumors containing breast cancer stem cells with nanotubes, which are very small tubes made of carbon. By themselves, said Torti, nanotubes don't have any anti-tumor properties, but if they are exposed to laser-generated, near-infrared radiation they start to vibrate and produce heat. This combination can produce a local region in the tumor that is very hot, she said. Using this method, the group was able to stop the growth of tumors that were largely composed of breast cancer stem cells. This suggests that nanotube-mediated thermal treatment can eliminate both the differentiated cells that constitute the bulk of the tumor and the cancer stem cells that drive tumor growth and recurrence.

"To truly cure a cancer, you have to get rid of the entire tumor, including the small population of cancer stem cells that could give rise to metastasis," Torti said. "There's more research to be done. We're looking at five to 10 years of more study and development. But what this study shows is that all that effort may be worth it -- it gives us a direction to go for a cure."

This research was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew R. Burke, Ravi N. Singh, David L. Carroll, James C.S. Wood, Ralph B. D’Agostino, Pulickel M. Ajayan, Frank M. Torti, Suzy V. Torti. The resistance of breast cancer stem cells to conventional hyperthermia and their sensitivity to nanoparticle-mediated photothermal therapy. Biomaterials, 2012; 33 (10): 2961 DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.12.052

Cite This Page:

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "Nanotube therapy takes aim at breast cancer stem cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120209131412.htm>.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. (2012, February 9). Nanotube therapy takes aim at breast cancer stem cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120209131412.htm
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "Nanotube therapy takes aim at breast cancer stem cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120209131412.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
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