News / Health

Nanodiamonds Make Cancer Drugs Work Better

Study shows effectiveness in treating disease in mice

A study finds binding anti-cancer drugs to nanodiamonds makes the treatment more effective.
A study finds binding anti-cancer drugs to nanodiamonds makes the treatment more effective.
Art Chimes

A new technology may make cancer drugs more effective and ease the burden of chemotherapy.

Scientists are combining cancer medicine with tiny particles of carbon called nanodiamonds. These diamonds are nothing like the gems used in jewelry. They're just a few nanometers across. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.  

"Nanodiamonds are small carbon particles that kind of resemble like an angular soccer ball," says Northwestern University engineering professor Dean Ho, who led the latest study. "And what's interesting about the nanodiamond surfaces is that they like to attract water, for example, as well as other molecules, like drugs."

Ho and his colleagues used this property to bind anti-cancer drugs to nanodiamonds. He says normally the tumor rejects the drug, but not when it’s attached to the nanoparticle.

"We found that when we bound the drugs to the nanodiamonds, the tumors were capable of retaining the drugs for a much longer period of time," Ho says.

In experiments using laboratory mice with liver and breast cancer, they found the drug was more effective and had fewer side effects. The researchers also found they could increase the dosage to a level that would be lethal if given without the nanodiamonds.

"Once we modified this same elevated and toxic dose with nanodiamonds and gave them to the animals, not only did all the animals survive the study, their tumors were actually reduced to their smallest sizes," Ho says.

The study shows the effectiveness of using nanodiamonds to treat cancer in mice, but further studies will be needed before the technology can be used in humans. In the meantime, Ho and his colleagues have been exploring other potential medical uses of nanodiamonds.

"We've also observed in our lab the ability to bind [to the nanodiamonds] other types of drugs. These include therapeutic proteins. One example includes a study where we delivered insulin for wound-healing applications potentially."

And in other lab experiments, they used nanodiamonds to deliver bits of DNA such as might be used in gene therapy. Ho says it was 70 times more efficient than DNA delivered through conventional methods.

By the way, despite the high-priced name, nanodiamonds may not add much to the cost of cancer treatment. They are actually produced from the byproducts of industrial explosions, such as used in mining. "So even though they're referred to as diamonds, we believe that they can be a potentially economical product for modifying the drugs."

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid