Monday, May 20, 2013

Stem cells carrying gold nanoparticles could treat tumors, spare healthy tissue

Karen Aboody at City of Hope is already an expert at engineering stem cells to treat cancer. She has a grant from CIRM to develop a way of getting stem cells to deliver chemotherapy directly to tumor cells in the brain, sparing the surrounding tissue.

Now, she's published a new paper showing that neural stem cells containing tiny gold nanorods can deliver a form of heat therapy to breast tumors. The work was published in Advanced Healthcare Materials.

City of Hope described the work like this:
There’s much to like about gold, therapeutically speaking. Gold is nontoxic, and gold nanoparticle rods are relatively easy to make. Most important, the rods vibrate at a certain frequency, which turns them into tiny antennae.

This frequency allows physicians to use a special  laser that targets only those spots where the nanorods are vibrating – leaving the healthy tissue unharmed.
They say that the technique could also be effective in other types of cancer like bladder or ovarian tumors.

CIRM funding: Rachael Mooney (TG2-01150)

A.A.

ResearchBlogging.orgSchnarr K, Mooney R, Weng Y, Zhao D, Garcia E, Armstrong B, Annala AJ, Kim SU, Aboody KS, & Berlin JM (2013). Gold Nanoparticle-Loaded Neural Stem Cells for Photothermal Ablation of Cancer. Advanced healthcare materials PMID: 23592703

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