"If you can reduce metastasis, you can improve the lifespan of the person with the disease and get a better chance of treating it effectively," said McDonald. "One goal is to make cancer a chronic disease that can be effectively treated over an extended period of time. If we can't cure it, perhaps we can help people to live with it."
Earlier in vitro studies published by the authors of the Nanomedicine paper showed that the magnetic nanoparticles could selectively remove human ovarian cancer cells from ascites fluid, which builds up in the peritoneal cavities of ovarian cancer patients. The nanoparticles are engineered with ligands that allow them to selectively attach to cancer cells.
The researchers believe that treating fluid removed from the body avoids potential toxicity problems that could result from introducing the nanoparticles into the body, though further studies are needed to confirm that the treatment would have no adverse effects.
The recently reported study in Nanomedicine used three sets of female mice to study the benefit of the nanoparticle-magnetic filtration system. Each mouse was injected with approximately 500,000 murine ovarian cancer cells, which multiply rapidly each cell doubling within approximately 15 hours.
In the experimental group, the researchers who included research scientist Roman Mezencev removed fluid from the abdomens of the mice immediately after injection of the cancer cells. They then added the magnetic nanoparticles to the fluid, allowed them to mix, then magnetically removed the nanoparticles along with the attached cancer cells before returning the fluid. The steps were repeated six times for each mouse.
One control group received no treatment at all, while a second control group underwent the same treatment as the experimental group but without the magnetic nanoparticles. Mice in the two control groups survived a median of 37 days, while t
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Georgia Institute of Technology Research News