Thursday, January 13, 2011

Using gold to more efficiently treat cancer

Drug Delivery technology is advancing every day. According to Medical News Today, Dr Marek Romanowski, an associate professor of biomedical engineering in the University of Arizona (UA) College of Engineering in Tucson, with his team of researchers, might have just developed something revolutionary. They have developed a drug delivery method that uses gold-coated liposomes to more effectively deliver chemotherapy drugs.

There are currently two main deficiencies with current chemotherapy treatments:
• The majority of chemotherapy treatments are extremely toxic to human cells, because they don’t differentiate between healthy cells and cancer cells - which is why patients often have symptoms like hair loss and extreme nausea.
• Current liposomes lack control over how and when they release the enclosed drugs.

This new method aims to better deliver the drugs and reduce the side effects as well by coating them in gold, and carrying a ligand molecule that allows them to "dock" more easily onto cancer cells as opposed to healthy cells.

Drug Delivery Partnerships delves deep into this topic in our session entitled, “Advances in Therapeutic Nanoparticles for Drug Delivery in Cancer.” The big C is a disease that affects almost everyone in some capacity and is a hot area of interest for the pharmaceutical industry. What are your thoughts on this development in chemotherapy? Share with us your insights!

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