Thursday, January 30, 2014

Nanochains for the treatment of Cancer Micrometastasis

Cancer is the well known diseased state around the world with millions of people suffering from it. For researchers it is a heap of task to combat this disease. From several decades several treatment methods are in practice. Among them, surgery and chemotherapy are the highly recommending treatment methods. Physicians remove the tumor through surgery and then suggest the high dosage of tumor suppressing drugs also called chemotherapy. These methods can be followed when the tumor size is around 100 mm3, provided the tumor is benign and not metastatic.

What is with the metastatic tumor? The cancer cells detach from the solid benign tumors migrate to different organs in the body and grow into tumors. This state is called metastatic state. The cancer at this stage is highly resistant to treatment. It is difficult to remove the numerous tiny tumors by surgery because the size of these metastatic tumors is very less. Normally more lethal cancer like pancreatic cancer will be in metastatic stage by the time the physician detect the presence of cancer. Thus the treatment is very difficult and the chances of survival also very very less. Thus the mortality rate increases.

Researchers are trying different methods and novel materials to treat this kind of metastatic cancer. With the availability of the high end technology like nanotechnology, where the nano (10-9m) sized materials are synthesized and exploited for different applications, there is scope to find some novel ways of treatment. A recent paper in Journal of controlled release during the january issue showed the new kind of nanomaterials called as nanochains are employed to treat the cancer state. The nanoparticles were loaded with drug and linked to the other nanoparticle by a covalent linkage. The authors found that these materials are highly penetrable to the deep locations of the tumor and releasing the drug will kill the cancer cells. Novel materials like these are crucial to combat diseases like cancer.