New research shows a combined nanotube/laser treatment which zaps
kidney tumours in 80 percent of mice. Now nanotech is teaming up with
viruses to kill ovarian tumours too.
The team at Wake Forest University injected multi-walled carbon
nanotubes into tumours and then heated them up using a laser - a
technique researchers have been talking about for a few years now. The
results of the latest study, published in the Procedings Of The
National Academy Of Sciences, showed that the mice that received the
highest level of treatment saw their tumours disappear completely in
80% of cases.
Using a mouse model, the researchers injected kidney tumors with
different quantities of MWCNTs and exposed the area to a 3-watt laser
for 30 seconds. They found that the mice that received no treatment for
their tumors died about 30 days into the study. Mice that received the
nanotubes alone or laser treatment alone survived for a similar length
of time. However, in the mice that received the MWCNTs followed by a
30-second laser treatment, the higher the quantity of nanotubes
injected, the longer the mice lived and the less tumor regrowth was
seen. In fact, in the group that received the highest dose of MWCNTs,
tumors completely disappeared in 80% of the mice. Many of those mice
continued to live tumor free through the completion of the study, about
9 months later.
The scientists say you could actually watch the tumours shrinking, and
the mice all the while maintained their weight and appeared healthy and
In previous studies, scientists have worked on using viruses to deliver
toxin-encoding DNA to a tumour, though using biodegradable
nanoparticles is safer. The treatment could also work in the brain,
lung and liver cancers.
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