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: Gold-plated nano-bits find, destroy cancer cells

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

Nano-forests to reveal secrets of cells

44 minutes ago

Vertical nanowires could be used for detailed studies of what happens on the surface of cells. The findings are important for pharmaceuticals research, among other applications. A group of researchers from ...

Intricate algae produce low-cost biosensors

Sep 01, 2014

(Phys.org) —Oregon State University researchers are combining diatoms, a type of single-celled photosynthetic algae, with nanoparticles to create a sensor capable of detecting miniscule amounts of protein or other biomarkers.

Introducing the multi-tasking nanoparticle

Aug 26, 2014

Kit Lam and colleagues from UC Davis and other institutions have created dynamic nanoparticles (NPs) that could provide an arsenal of applications to diagnose and treat cancer. Built on an easy-to-make polymer, these particles ...

User comments : 0