Taking a Close Look at the Impact of Nanotechnology in Advanced Cancer Treatments

Today, medical professionals around the world are using futuristic methods of diagnostics and drug delivery, many of them once the stuff only found in science fiction. The onset of nanotechnology created the need for nano-based medical equipment. Doctors and lab techs can view biological particles moving at fast speeds using nano-positioned microscopy while healthcare providers can provide precision automatic dosing to patients using nano-pumps, all in thanks to nano-positioning advancements. However, nanotechnology is making headway in one area of medicine that has baffled the medical community for many years: effective cancer treatments. Learn more about how nanotechnology may be the answer to the destruction of your cancer.

Big Things Can Come in Small Packages

A nanoparticle is extremely tiny, being less than 100 nm in size. One nanoparticle is smaller than the width of a human hair, a human hair being 80,000 to 100,000 nm wide. Researchers have found a way to place cancer-killing drugs in special nanoparticles. Once nanoparticles containing cancer-killing drugs are injected into the blood stream, they target cancer cells and destroy them without affecting healthy cells in the way traditional treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy do. Traditional cancer treatments also have harsh side effects because they impact healthy cells. A special targeting ligand is attached to each nanoparticle so it will only be attracted to certain cancer cells that have specific markers. Ligands are proteins that work to send and receive messages. In lab tests using mice, cancerous ovarian tumors were eradicated completely using nanoparticles in targeted drug therapy, a huge jump towards cancer cures thanks to nanotechnology.

The Steps Nanoparticles in Your Bloodstream Take to Locate Cancer Cells

When nanoparticles carrying cancer-killing medications are injected into your bloodstream, they flow through until they come to areas where cancer-related vessel leakage is occurring. Bear in mind that nanoparticles are unable to penetrate the walls of the vessels that have healthy cells on the other side. In weakened areas of the blood vessels, nanoparticles are able to pass through to target cancer cells. Cancer cells have receptor ligands that nanoparticles attach to, thus giving the nanoparticles its attachment to its target. Once nanoparticles are attached to a cancer cell, they begin finding their way into the cell to release their packages of destruction drugs.

Nanotechnology has made it possible for cancer patients to have hope they never had before. From the nano-positioning stages used in microscopy to to learn more about cancer cells to the injection of super-destructive nanoparticles, cancer patients can look ahead to the future and plan for a longer life.