Radio diagnosis

A team of researchers from university of Texas at Arlington; University of Rhode Island and Brown University; have collaborated to come up with use of nanoparticles in targeted therapy for deep seated cancers. Their success with the nanoparticles is publish in a study titled; “X-ray induced photodynamic therapy with copper-cysteamine nanoparticles in  tumors,” in the latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The group of researchers came together to use copper-cysteamine (Cu-Cy) nanoparticles along with X rays to treat deep-seated tumors in lab mice.

X rays to treat deep-seated

Their results revealed that penetrability of these nanoparticles into the tumour and reduction in the size of the tumour. Senior author of the study Wei Chen, a UTA physics professor; has been working for a while in developing photosensitizer nan oparticles that would be used for therapy. Therefore These nanoparticles  activate with X rays and at the site of their action they would act via activation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that would kill the cancer cells and spare the healthy cells. But ROS are lethal molecules for all cells and can cause serious damage to healthy cells when exposed.

Chen explained, “Traditional nanoparticles used for photodynamic therapy can only be activated by light that is not highly penetrating; meaning we’re limit with how deep we can go to target tumors.” He add, “Cu-Cy is unique among other nanoparticles we’ve investigated because it  activate by radiation; which can penetrate far deeper and reach tumors throughout the body.” Thus their special nanoparticles are equipped to penetrate deep into the tumours. Chen has also tried microwaves to activate the nanoparticles once they are inside the system. This is called photodynamic therapy he explained.

Activated by radiation

He said, “We continue to pursue multiple combinations within photodynamic therapy. Each new discovery represents potential new avenues for treating cancer patients; because we can leave their healthy cells virtually unaffected.” The team wrote; “Copper-cysteamine nanoparticles can be activate directly by X-rays to produce singlet oxygen.” Chen work alongside Michael Antosh; assistant professor of physics and medical physics program director at the University of Rhode Island and eight other researchers on this project to realize the actual activity of these nanoparticles in a live system.

Antosh said, “Building on Wei’s expertise in this important research area, my lab focused on the experiments testing the effect of the nanoparticles on tumor size after radiation therapy.” Because He added; “With the help of expert analysis by Jing Wu, assistance professor of statistics at the University of Rhode Island; we have enough data to draw reliable conclusions for the first time that radiation and Cu-Cy nanoparticles act as an effective cancer treatment.”