Organic nanoparticles make cancer cell destruction easier

Using carbon-based nanoparticles instead of rare metals could increase damage to cancer cells while harming fewer healthy cells, according to a new study.

By Stephen Feller

FRANKFURT, Germany, May 18 (UPI) -- Radiotherapy is used in treatment for roughly half of all treatments for cancer, but it's flawed because it affects all cells in an area of the body rather than just cancer cells. Scientists now believe that using carbon-based nanoparticles as part of the treatment could help focus radiotherapy on deadly cancer cells.

Replacing rare metals used in radiotherapy such as gold and platinum with a carbon molecules, such as fullerite, a form of C60 fullerine, yields greater biological damage, according to a press release.


The research by physicists at MBN Research Center in Frankfurt, Germany and A.F. Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute in St Petersburg, Russia was focused on creating these nanoparticles as a replacement for the metals currently used in radiotherapy. Having made the discovery that nanoparticles may be less damaging to healthy cells and more effective at damaging cancer cells, the hope is that this research will lead to the development of new radio-sensitizer-based therapies.

The study was published in The European Physical Journal D.

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