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Applied nanobiomedicine: Exploiting nanoparticles to hunt for hidden cancer cells
Date:6/7/2012

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research provides over 300,000 for the next three years to fund a new research project at the Mainz University Medical Center. The project aims to detect dispersed tumor cells in cancer patients. Latest reports indicate that such detached cancer cells could play an important role for the early detection of cancer. Also, they may provide important information whether patients are indeed responding to therapy. To overcome the current limitations precluding the routine detection of these rare cells, the research network seeks to exploit a novel combination of nanotechnology combined with principles underlying hard drive technology. The research team headed by Professor Dr. Roland Stauber of the Department of Otolaryngology, Head, and Neck Surgery at the Mainz University Medical Center is embedded in the recently initiated "Magnetic Flow Cytometry" (MRCyte) project.

Almost all forms of cancer occur much more frequently in older patients than in younger people. Demographic changes and the general increase in life expectancy mean that individuals are at increased risk of developing cancer. According to the Cancer Information Service (KID) of the German Cancer Research Center, it is expected that some 486,000 new cases of cancer will be reported in Germany in 2012. Despite innovative treatments and the fact that more and more people survive their illness, cancer is still one of the most common causes of death in Germany due to its increased prevalence.

In addition to the development of novel cancer treatment strategies, early disease detection and the monitoring of patient response is highly effective in reducing mortality. "Latest findings seem to indicate that dispersed tumor cells are actually an early warning signal not only of cancer development but also of relapse following therapy," explains project manager Professor Roland Stauber. The detection of such tumor cells in the blood of cancer patients
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Contact: Professor Dr. Roland H. Stauber
roland.stauber@unimedizin-mainz.de
49-613-117-7002
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz
Source:Eurekalert

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