Features | Partner Sites | Information | LinkXpress
Sign In
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
GLOBETECH PUBLISHING LLC
PZ HTL SA

Nanoparticle Created for Cancer Therapy

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 29 Apr 2014
Image: X-ray destruction of human breast cancer cells using Cu-Cy particles. The images show the live cancer cells stained green and the dead cells stained red (Photo courtesy of Wei Chen/UT Arlington).
Image: X-ray destruction of human breast cancer cells using Cu-Cy particles. The images show the live cancer cells stained green and the dead cells stained red (Photo courtesy of Wei Chen/UT Arlington).
A physicist working to create a luminescent nanoparticle to use in security-related radiation detection may have instead developed a new tool for photodynamic cancer therapy.

Wei Chen, professor of physics and co-director of University of Texas (UT) at Arlington (USA) Center for Security Advances Via Applied Nanotechnology, was testing a copper-cysteamine (Cu-Cy) complex created in his lab when he discovered mysterious decreases in its luminescence, or light emitting power, over a time-lapse exposure to X-rays. Researching further, he discovered that the nanoparticles, called Cu-Cy, were losing energy as they emitted singlet oxygen—a toxic byproduct used to damage cancer cells in photodynamic therapy.

Because Prof. Chen also is leading federally funded cancer research, he knew he had found something unique. Testing revealed that the Cu-Cy nanoparticles, combined with X-ray exposure, significantly slowed tumor growth in lab studies. “This new idea is simpler and better than previous photodynamic therapy methods. You don’t need as many steps. This material alone can do the job,” Prof. Chen said. “It is the most promising thing we have found in these cancer studies and we’ve been looking at this for a long time.”

Prof. Chen’s research will be published in the August 2014 edition of the Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology. The article was published online April 2014. The University has also filed a provisional patent application on the new complex.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) harms cancer cells when a photosensitizer introduced into tumor tissue produces toxic singlet oxygen after being exposed to light. In some studies, this light exposure is done through use of visible or near-infrared lasers. Others have found more success by also introducing luminescent nanoparticles into the tumor. Researchers activate the luminescent nanoparticle with near-infrared light or X-rays, which in turn activates the photosensitizer.

Both techniques have limitations for treating deep tissue cancers. They are either ineffective or the light source needed to activate them does not penetrate deep enough. Prof. Chen reported that X-ray-inducible Cu-Cy particles surpass current photosensitizers because the X-rays can penetrate deep into tissue. Furthermore, Cu-Cy nanoparticles do not need other photosensitizes to be effective so the treatment is more convenient, efficient and cost-effective.

“Dr. Chen’s commitment to his work in cancer-related therapy, as well as his work in the area of homeland security, demonstrates the wide-ranging applications and great value of basic science research,” said Carolyn Cason, vice president for research at UT Arlington. “These advances have the potential to change the way some cancers are treated and make therapy more effective—a benefit that would be boundless.”

Prof, Chen’s team assessed the Cu-Cy on human breast and prostate cancer cells in the lab and found it to be an effective treatment when combined with X-ray exposure. In one esperiment, for example, a tumor treated with Cu-Cy injection and X-ray exposure stayed virtually the same size over a 13-day period while a tumor without the full treatment grew by three times.

Another benefit of the new nanoparticle is a low toxicity to healthy cells. Furthermore, Cu-Cy’s intense photoluminescence and X-ray luminescence can be employed for cell imaging, according to the scientists. Details of the crystal structure and optical characteristics of the new complex are slated for publication in an upcoming paper from the Journal of Materials Chemistry. Prof. Chen reported that additional research would include reducing the size of the Cu-Cy nanoparticle to make it more easily absorbed in the tumor tissue. “For cancer, there is still no good solution yet. Hopefully this nanoparticle can provide some possibilities,” he said.

Related Links:

University of Texas at Arlington



comments powered by Disqus

Channels

Genomics/Proteomics

view channel

New Program Encourages Wide Distribution of Genomic Data

A new data sharing program allows genomics researchers and practitioners to analyze, visualize, and share raw sequence data for individual patients or across populations straight from a local browser. The sequencing revolution is providing the raw data required to identify the genetic variants underlying rare diseases... Read more

Drug Discovery

view channel
Image: The nano-cocoon drug delivery system is biocompatible, specifically targets cancer cells, can carry a large drug load, and releases the drugs very quickly once inside the cancer cell. Ligands on the surface of the \"cocoon\" trick cancer cells into consuming it. Enzymes (the “worms\" in this image) inside the cocoon are unleashed once inside the cell, destroying the cocoon and releasing anticancer drugs into the cell (Photo courtesy of Dr. Zhen Gu, North Carolina State University).

Novel Anticancer Drug Delivery System Utilizes DNA-Based Nanocapsules

A novel DNA-based drug delivery system minimizes damage to normal tissues by utilizing the acidic microenvironment inside cancer cells to trigger the directed release of the anticancer drug doxorubicin (DOX).... Read more

Lab Technologies

view channel

Experimental Physicists Find Clues into How Radiotherapy Kills Cancer Cells

A new discovery in experimental physics has implications for a better determination of the process in which radiotherapy destroys cancer cells. Dr. Jason Greenwood from Queen’s University Belfast (Ireland) Center for Plasma Physics collaborated with scientists from Italy and Spain on the work on electrons, and published... Read more

Business

view channel

Interest in Commercial Applications for Proteomics Continues to Grow

Increasing interest in the field of proteomics has led to a series of agreements between private proteomic companies and academic institutions as well as deals between pharmaceutical companies and novel proteomics innovator biotech companies. Proteomics is the study of the structure and function of proteins.... Read more
 
Copyright © 2000-2014 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.