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.

Says Nanowerk:
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 normal.

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.

[via io9]