Cancer News Network

Cancer Awareness , Developments in Cancer Research and News on Cancer

Monday, December 04, 2006

Nanotechnology to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumor


Nanowerk News: Combining two promising approaches to diagnosing and treating cancer, a multidisciplinary research team at the University of Michigan has created a targeted multifunctional polymer nanoparticle that successfully images and kills brain tumors in laboratory animals. This work was conducted as part of the National Cancer Institute’s Unconventional Innovations Program, an effort that first showed the promise of nanotechnology for diagnosing and treating cancer.

Writing in the journal Clinical Cancer Research (
"Vascular targeted nanoparticles for imaging and treatment of brain tumors), the research team led by Brian Ross, Ph.D., Alnawaz Rehemtulla, Ph.D., Raoul Kopelman, Ph.D., and Martin Philbert, Ph.D., describes its development of a 40-nanometer-diameter polyacrylamide nanoparticle loaded with a photosensitizing agent, known as Photofrin, and iron oxide. When irradiated with laser light, Photofrin, which is used to treat several types of cancer, including esophageal, bladder, and skin cancers, triggers the production of reactive oxygen species that destroy a wide variety of molecules within a cell. The iron oxide nanoparticles function as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent.

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