David Kirkpatrick

March 13, 2010

Cancer and nanotechnology

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:43 pm

I’ve been using HubPages as an outlet for print work that I retain the rights to after selling FNASR to a publication that doesn’t archive its content online. Last week I decided to create a hub offering a clearinghouse of all my blogging on cancer and nanotechnology to date in an effort to get a lot of basic information in one place for people interested in the topic. HubPages doesn’t allow more than three links back to one source and blocked that hub after a couple of days. Sadly they’ve not returned a request to waive the rule in this case because the hub’s purpose was purely informational, not link building for my blog. So here is the hub’s contents to get it back out there, and I’ve been forced to amend the original hub with nothing more than a link back to this post. Sorry for the confusion, but do enjoy the material. And a large raspberry to HubPages for zero communication on a hub that probably deserved an exception to an otherwise sensible rule.

The original hub:

At my personal blog I cover a wide range of topics, but four areas get a lot of attention — business (particularly small business), politics, the energy sector (particularly solar energy) and nanotechnology. One place nanotech is really shining in terms of regular breakthroughs and practical applications is in cancer research and treatment. Following is a recap of two years of nanotech/cancer blogging with dates of, links to the original posts and a summary of the key information. If you are interested in the intersection of nanotechnology and cancer research, this hub is a great place to get started.

April 2, 2008 — Researchers at UCLA developed a “nanoimpeller” nanomachine that stores cancer fighting drugs for release inside cancer cells in response to light.

April 3, 2008 — Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine used drug-coated nanoparticles to deliver fumigillin to cancerous tumors at a 1000-times reduced dose while remaining effective. Fumigillin has neurotoxic side effects at standard dosage.

May 8, 2008 — Researcher at UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and MIT developed “nanoworms” that can travel through the bloodstream and target tumors — even tumors too small for conventional detection.

July 17, 2008 — Researchers at Georgia Tech developed a treatment that attaches magnetic nanoparticles to free-floating cancer cells allowing those cells to be removed from the body.

July 28, 2008 — More on the Georgia Tech treatment with image.

September 8, 2008 — Nanoscale gold rods are a key component in heat-based cancer treatment. The gold nanoparticles are designed to bind only with cancer cells.

September 29, 2008 — A hybrid technology from researchers headed by the National Cancer Institute’s Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer combining a magnetic nanoparticle, a fluorescent quantum dot and an anticancer drug helps to both image and treat cancerous tumors.

February 2, 2009 — Researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center find hollow gold nanospheres containing a targeting peptide track down melanoma cells and penetrate them allowing for treatment with near-infrared light.

November 29. 2009 — A Nature Materials report finds “nanodiscs” made of a nickel-iron alloy can be subjected to a magnetic field to disrupt the membranes of cancer cells and destroy them. Tests found ten minutes of a low magnetic field killed 90% of cancer cells.

January 14, 2010 — Researchers at the National Cancer Institute’s Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence found two nanoparticles that work in concert to find, bind with and destroy cancer cells. One particle locates and adheres to the tumor and sensitizes the cancer cells for the second nanoparticle that kills the tumor.

February 11, 2010 — This link goes a press release on gold and nanotech. The release mentions gold nanoparticles efficacy in cancer detection and treatment.

February 17, 2010 — Researchers at the University of Missouri created a sensor based on N/MEMS (micro/nanoelectromechanical systems) known as an acoustic resonant sensor that can test for diseases including breast and prostate cancer. The device could lead to a home cancer detection kit.

March 8, 2010 — Researchers at Cornell found nanoparticles made of a dumbbell-shaped two iron oxide particles sandwiching a gold particle can be loaded with an antibody to specifically target cancer cells then become heated by a near infrared laser killing the cells. This treatment is capable of killing cancer cells while leaving nearby healthy cells unharmed.

Keep in mind this hub only covers nanotech/cancer news that caught my eye over the last couple of years. There are breakthroughs happening every day at labs and universities around the world. The field is still in something of its infancy, but nanotechnology in many forms looks like it might be at least one magic bullet in the fight against cancer.

Update: hit this link for all my blog posts on cancer and nanotech.


  1. […] blog, but simply a method to get a lot of information covering a long time period in one place. Hit this link to find the text of the original hub in its entirety. Leave a […]

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