Nanoparticles Detect and Purge Metastases in Lymph Nodes

October 30, 2009

Colonoscopy represents one of the great weapons against cancer. In one step, a physician can find precancerous lesions in the colon and then cut them out, an on-the-spot intervention that prevents cancer from developing. Now, researchers at the Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences have developed another fiber optic technique that can detect lymph node metastases and destroy them on the spot, an action that could prevent the further spread of breast cancer, melanoma, or gastrointestinal cancer, all of which spread through the lymphatic system.

As they report in the Journal of Biophotonics, Vladimir Zharov and his colleagues used polymer-coated iron oxide nanoparticles and gold-coated carbon nanotubes as the heart of an integrated system of several different analytical techniques and light-activated thermal therapy to detect and purge metastatic cells that invade sentinel . Both types of nanoparticles make excellent photoacoustic contrast enhancement agents, with each having its own characteristic interaction with pulses of laser light. When injected into mice, the investigators were able to quantify both types of nanoparticles as they accumulated in .

Dr. Zharov and his colleagues next showed that they could use photoacoustic techniques to detect both melanoma and breast cancer metastases in sentinel lymph nodes in mice. In fact, the investigators were able to map in real time the distribution of metastatic cells in the and count individual tumor cells in the sentinel lymph nodes. The researchers then showed that they could use a fiber optic laser probe to irradiate nanoparticles that accumulated in the lymph nodes. This irradiation rapidly heats the nanoparticles, generating microbubbles in the surrounding media. The eventual microbubble collapse releases energy that kills the metastatic cells. The entire procedure, including detection and destruction of metastatic cells, took less than 30 seconds.

This work, which was supported in part by the National Cancer Institute, is detailed in a paper titled, "In vivo fiber-based multicolor photoacoustic detection and photothermal purging of metastasis in sentinel lymph nodes targeted by nanoparticles." Investigators from the Saratov State University and the Prokhorov General Physics Institute, both in Russia, the Indiana School of Medicine, and the University of Arkansas also participated in this study. An abstract of this paper is available at the journal's Web site.

Provided by National Institute (news : web)

Explore further: Researchers find two biomarkers with potential to predict breast cancer spread

Related Stories

Dual-Mode Nanoparticles Image Tumors Using MRI and PET

August 15, 2008

Medical imaging represents one of the most used and useful procedures in the oncologist’s diagnostic toolkit, even though each of the most useful techniques—magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography x-ray ...

Golden Nanotubes Detect Tumor Cells, Map Sentinel Lymph Nodes

September 24, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Biomedical researchers at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock have developed a special contrast-imaging agent made of gold-coated ...

Recommended for you

Reshaping the solar spectrum to turn light to electricity

July 28, 2015

When it comes to installing solar cells, labor cost and the cost of the land to house them constitute the bulk of the expense. The solar cells—made often of silicon or cadmium telluride—rarely cost more than 20 percent ...

Could stronger, tougher paper replace metal?

July 24, 2015

Researchers at the University of Maryland recently discovered that paper made of cellulose fibers is tougher and stronger the smaller the fibers get. For a long time, engineers have sought a material that is both strong (resistant ...

Changing the color of light

July 23, 2015

Researchers at the University of Delaware have received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to explore a new idea that could improve solar cells, medical imaging and even cancer treatments. Simply put, they want ...

Wafer-thin material heralds future of wearable technology

July 27, 2015

UOW's Institute for Superconducting and Electronic Materials (ISEM) has successfully pioneered a way to construct a flexible, foldable and lightweight energy storage device that provides the building blocks for next-generation ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.