Categorized | Prostate Treatment

Trapping Prostate Cancer with Nanomaterials

A team of researchers from across the world have developed nano-sized, self assembling nanomaterials made of peptides (SAP). The cultures were then used to house prostate cancer stem cells.

Not only did the SAP stop cancer stem cells from growing, but it also prevented them from dividing further in vitro. Further, when the cells were taken out of the SAP encasing they began to grow and multiply.

The results of these experiments have been published in the recent issue of Cell Transplantation. The importance of cancer stem cells is that they could lead to prostate tumor metastasis. If these cells could be prevented from developing further, then they are a perfect target for stopping disease metastasis. The team had earlier shown that it was possible to control the growth, spread and maturation of cells in vitro by using SAPSs. Dr. Rutledge Ellis-Behnke of the Heidelberg University-based Nanomedicine Translational Think Tank, who wrote the paper, said that it is possible to keep the cells in stasis for prolonged periods without causing separation. The cells could be treated further if they could be held in one place.

According to the team of researchers, this experiment has proved that cancer stem cells could prevail within a tumor. If chemotherapy was not working and cancer stem cells were not responding to the drugs, then the treatment may be unsuccessful. But the metastatic cells could be prevented from spreading by injecting the substance into the tumor.

Researchers believe that imprisoning the cancer stem cells in the nanomaterial could integrate the SAP into the chemotherapy drug and make the localized treatment more effective because it would prevent the cancer cells from escaping from the chemicals.

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April 2011
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