`Trojan horse` technique could sound death knell for brain tumors

Washington: Scientists have come up with a technology called 'Trojan horse', which involves inserting nano-particles into brain in order to beat the tumour cells.

The ground-breaking technique, which had been successfully tested, could eventually be used to treat glioblastoma multiforme, which is the most common and aggressive brain tumour in adults, and notoriously difficult to treat.

Many sufferers die within a few months of diagnosis, and just six in every 100 patients with the condition are alive after five years.

The research led by University of Cambridge scientists involved engineering nanostructures containing both gold and cisplatin, a conventional chemotherapy drug, which were released into tumour cells that had been taken from glioblastoma patients and grown in the lab.

Once inside, the 'nanospheres' were exposed to radiotherapy, which caused the gold to release electrons which damaged the cancer cell's DNA and its overall structure, thereby enhancing the impact of the chemotherapy drug, and eventually was so effective that 20 days later, that the cell culture showed no evidence of any revival.

The study is reported in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Nanoscale. 

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