Credit: Dr. Lance Liotta Laboratory / National Cancer Institute
Using radioactive nanoparticles, University of Missouri researchers have developed a way to target lymphoma tumors in the body. Lymphoma is the term used for cancer that begins in the lymphatic system. This type of cancer originates in the lymphocytes (immune cells) that inhabit lymph nodes and lymph tissues. When these cancer cells spread to other areas of the body, it is difficult to locate and target the secondary tumors that they produce. The radioactive nanoparticles in the study were successful in locating and attaching to lymphoma tumor cells without damaging healthy cells.
According to researcher Michael Lewis, "If a cancer metastasizes, or spreads creating hard-to-find tumors, it often becomes fatal. Having a way to identify and shrink these secondary tumors is of utmost importance when fighting to save people with these diseases." The radioactive nanoparticles were created by covering radioactive lutetium nanoparticles with gold shells and adding certain agents for targeting lymphoma tumor cells. The researchers contend that this process will lead to better treatments for advanced cancers and lymphoma by providing an improved method for selectively destroying cancer cells.
Learn more about this study:
- Radioactive Nanoparticles Target Cancer Cells (Science Daily)