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May 11, 2007

Cancer Therapy Using Nanotechnology Cuts Side Effects

Topics: Medical Science News

Scientists say they have developed a way to deliver lethal drug doses to tumours without causing side-effects, such as nausea and hair loss.

[...] The Australian team has used nanotechnology to create tiny particles which specifically attack cancer cells, but leave healthy tissue unaffected.

The particles - or mini-cells - are tagged with anti-cancer antibodies so they zero in on their target.

[...] The mini-cells - about one-fifth the size of a normal cell - were created from bacteria cells stripped of their reproductive powers.

They were then loaded with cancer drugs, and tagged with antibodies which are attracted to cancerous tumours.

Once the cell reaches the cancer, the drug is released directly into the malignant growth.

Researcher Jennifer MacDiarmid, from Sydney-based biotechnology company EnGeneIC, said: "There is no other system where you can get so much drug concentrated into a little parcel."

In tests, the technique reduced tumours in animals without side effects - and by using only a very small amount of drug.

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Posted by Richard at May 11, 2007 2:48 PM


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