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Gold-Plated Nano-Bits Find, Destroy Cancer Cells

Health & Wellness  (tags: cancer, disease, healthcare, investigation, medicine, news, research, science, treatment )

- 1646 days ago -
Comparable to nano-scale Navy Seals, Cornell scientists have merged tiny gold and iron oxide particles to work as a team, then added antibody guides to steer the team through the bloodstream toward colorectal cancer cells.

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Kit B (276)
Friday October 18, 2013, 12:30 pm
Image Credit: TipsTimes/Flickr

Comparable to nano-scale Navy Seals, Cornell scientists have merged tiny gold and iron oxide particles to work as a team, then added antibody guides to steer the team through the bloodstream toward colorectal cancer cells. And in a nanosecond, the alloyed allies then kill the bad guys – cancer cells – with absorbed infrared heat.

This scenario is not science fiction – welcome to a medical reality.

“It’s a simple concept. It’s colloidal chemistry. By themselves, gold and iron-oxide alloys are benign and inert, and the infrared light is low-power heating,” said Carl Batt, Cornell’s Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Food Science and the senior author on the paper. “But put these inert alloys together, attach an antibody to guide it to the right target, zap it with infrared light and the cancer cells die. The cells only need to be heated up a few degrees to die.”

Batt and his colleagues – Dickson K. Kirui, Ph.D. ’11, a postdoctoral fellow at Houston Methodist Research Institute and the paper’s first author; Ildar Khalidov, radiology, Weill Cornell Medical College; and Yi Wang, biomedical engineering, Cornell – published their study in Nanomedicine (print edition, July 2013).

For cancer therapy, current hyperthermic techniques – applying heat to the whole body – heat up cancer cells and healthy tissue, alike. Thus, healthy tissue tends to get damaged. This study shows that by using gold nanoparticles, which amplify the low energy heat source efficiently, cancer cells can be targeted better and heat damage to healthy tissues can be mitigated. By adding the magnetic iron oxide particles to the gold, doctors watching MRI and CT scanners can follow along the trail of this nano-sized crew to its target.

When a near-infrared laser is used, the light penetrates deep into the tissue, heating the nanoparticle to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit – an ample temperature to kill many targeted cancer cells. This results in a threefold increase in killing cancer cells and a substantial tumor reduction within 30 days, according to Kirui. “It’s not a complete reduction in the tumor, but doctors can employ other aggressive strategies with success. It also reduces the dosage of highly toxic chemicals and radiation – leading to a better quality of life,” he explained.

The study was funded in part by the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and Kirui was supported by a Sloan Foundation Graduate Fellowship.

By: Blaine Friedlander | Cornell Chronicle |

Jerry B (128)
Friday October 18, 2013, 5:11 pm
Noted great article, sounds like their on to something any news is good news..thanks Kit!

Laurie H (817)
Friday October 18, 2013, 7:13 pm
WOW! This sounds very promising indeed!!!!---I appreciate this share so very much!!!! Hope to hear more about this in the future. Thanks so much Kit!~~~~

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Friday October 18, 2013, 7:31 pm
This is fantastic. Thank you for the amazing news.

Elisa F (235)
Friday October 18, 2013, 10:40 pm
Noted. Great Info. Thanks, Kit!

Athena F (131)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 3:49 am
Interesting, thanks!

Robert B (60)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 8:40 am
Amazing! thanks for the article.

Birgit W (160)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 4:19 pm

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday October 19, 2013, 4:21 pm
Noted. Thanks for this info, Kit. Very interesting. But, I wonder how expensive this procedure's going to be, considering that they're using gold. Wonder if it will be considered "experimental" and if insurance will cover this. Kind of doubtful. So many new wonderful methods are being found to cure diseases, but the costs for most of us are way too high. I was hoping insurance reform would help to bring these new procedures within reach of the general population, but am not sure how that's going to work out......

Debra Tate (17)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 7:36 am
Thanks for this info! Noted. Thanks!

M B (62)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 12:03 pm
I also wonder how expensive the treatment will be..., thanks Kit.

Amy F (11)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 1:49 pm

marie C (163)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 2:34 pm
Please God new treatments are always expensive but usually drops even if we can not afford it now future generations will be able to ANYTHING to destroy this horrific disease

Franshisca Dearmas (89)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 5:45 pm
Great information TY Kit.

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 8:52 pm
Fascinating article.

Karen Chestney (112)
Sunday October 20, 2013, 10:27 pm
Thank-you for this really interesting article. This is an important advancement in cancer treatment.

Rhonda B (106)
Monday October 21, 2013, 7:35 am
Thank You!

Tom C Sullivan (98)
Monday October 21, 2013, 9:05 pm
Noted, Awesome

Winn A (179)
Tuesday October 22, 2013, 7:39 am
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