Gold Appropriate for Treatment of Certain Types of Cancer?
Most types of cancer are very dangerous diseases, which often lead to the death of those affected. Researchers have now discovered that so-called gold nanoparticles could be used to treat cancer. A treatment could have a direct and effective effect on the diseased cells without harming the healthy tissue.
The researchers at Edinburgh University and the University of Zaragoza found out that tiny nanoparticles of gold could be used to treat cancer. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Angewandte Chemie".
Gold increases the effectiveness of drugs used to treat lung cancer cells
The precious metal gold increases the effectiveness of drugs for the treatment of lung cancer cells, say the experts. The current study was done on zebrafish, but the scientists hope to use the same technique to successfully treat people with cancer in the future. Gold can accelerate or catalyze chemical reactions, the authors explain.
Less side effects of chemotherapy
In the future, the new method will hopefully help reduce the side effects of current chemotherapy by targeting diseased cells without damaging healthy tissue, the Edinburgh University experts said in a press release on their study results.
More research is needed
We have discovered new properties of gold that were previously unknown, and our results suggest that the gold could be used to safely release drugs within tumors, the doctors say. Of course, more research needs to be done before this type of treatment can be used in human patients. However, the results are already a step in the right direction.
Doctors are looking for new ways to provide cancer medication
Hopefully one day it will be possible for people to use a method that activates chemotherapy directly in the tumors and thus reduces harmful effects on the healthy organs, the authors explain. By developing new, better ways to provide cancer medication, cancer treatment can be improved and the risk of side effects reduced.
Gold nanoparticles could be used to treat brain tumors
For example, the gold nanoparticles could also help improve the treatment of brain tumors and other difficult-to-treat forms of cancer, the scientists explain. The next step will be to check whether this type of treatment is safe for people and what long-term and short-term side effects are caused. (as)