Washington: Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are developing what they call a magic ‘golden’ bullet for cancer, which could kill the tumours by using gold nanoparticles. The researchers— including Dr. Younan Xia, James M. McKelvey, Michael J. Welch— described the successful photothermal treatment of tumours in mice by using gold bullets, which are gold nanocages that, when injected, selectively accumulate in tumours.
The nanocages infiltrate through those gaps efficiently enough that they turn the surface of the normally pinkish tumor black. The researchers found that in the nanocage-injected mice, the skin surface temperature increased rapidly from 32 degrees Celsius to 54 degrees. In the buffer-injected mice, however, the surface temperature remained below 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit). Then the researchers observed that the tumours of nanocage-injected mice were significantly fainter on the PET scans than those of buffer-injected mice, indicating that many tumor cells were no longer functioning. The tumours in the nanocage-treated mice were later found to have marked histological signs of cellular damage. The study has been published in the journal Small. ANI
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