Researchers looking to use nanographene oxide to destroy tumors

Nov 26, 2013 by Bob Yirka weblog

(Phys.org) —A combined team of researchers from Portugal and Spain has found that it might be possible to use nanographene oxide to help improve the tumor killing capability of chemo, radiotherapy or laser treatments in cancer patients. In their paper to be published in the journal Nanotechnology, the team describes tests they've conducted with nanographene materials and how they might be used in medical applications.

Scientists have learned over the years that the in cancerous tumors are more sensitive to heat than in the body (it makes them more porous). To take advantage of this property, researchers have developed techniques for heating such cells before applying other techniques meant to kill them—heating tumors before using chemo or radiotherapy makes them more vulnerable (the drugs can more easily enter the tumor cells due to the enlarged pores) and thus easier to kill. In this new effort, the research team has been experimenting with nanographene oxides, which they say, might conceivably be used as a means for more accurately directing heat to prior to using other tumor killing techniques.

In their lab, the researchers have been firing lasers at and irradiating them to test for culture temperatures variances under different conditions. To improve the results, they've been soaking the cells in first—the cells absorb the foreign material. In analyzing the results, the researchers have found that doing so causes cell necrosis (death) and a subsequent increase in the release of cytokine (substances secreted by ) to the surrounding environment. They also noted that the increased temperature of the cells treated with the nanographene oxide performed better when increasing the power of the laser than when increasing exposure time, which is preferential because it means less damage is caused to surrounding healthy tissue. They also suggest that if their technique were to be used in live patients, it might be possible to customize the type of cell death that results—in effect tailoring the response of .

Unfortunately, it's still not known if soaking a real tumor in nanographene oxide before applying other measures might have other undesirable side effects. Thus, a lot of testing will have to be conducted before they can be tried in human patients. But if the preliminary results pan out, nanographene oxide and/or other similar materials might one day be used to help conventional treatments work better.

Explore further: Research reveals how our bodies keep unwelcome visitors out of cell nuclei

More information: via Nanotechweb

Related Stories

Gold-plated nano-bits find, destroy cancer cells

Oct 16, 2013

(Phys.org) —Comparable to nano-scale Navy Seals, Cornell scientists have merged tiny gold and iron oxide particles to work as a team, then added antibody guides to steer the team through the bloodstream toward colorectal ...

Finding antitumor T cells in a patient's own cancer

Nov 13, 2013

Patients with tumors that contain increased numbers of T lymphocytes generally survive longer than those with tumors without T-cell involvement, suggesting that T cells with potent antitumor function naturally ...

Recommended for you

Study shows graphene able to withstand a speeding bullet

6 hours ago

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers working at Rice University in the U.S. has demonstrated that graphene is better able to withstand the impact of a bullet than either steel or Kevlar. In their paper published ...

Nanomaterials to preserve ancient works of art

Nov 27, 2014

Little would we know about history if it weren't for books and works of art. But as time goes by, conserving this evidence of the past is becoming more and more of a struggle. Could this all change thanks ...

Learning anti-microbial physics from cicada

Nov 27, 2014

(Phys.org) —Inspired by the wing structure of a small fly, an NPL-led research team developed nano-patterned surfaces that resist bacterial adhesion while supporting the growth of human cells.

User comments : 0

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.