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Radio waves fire up nanotubes embedded in tumors, destroying liver cancer
Date:11/1/2007

Smalley was the founder of Rice's Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory and one of the world's foremost experts on carbon nanotubes. He shared the Nobel Prize for the 1985 discovery of fullerenes, the family of carbon molecules that includes nanotubes. His research in 2005 was concentrated largely on the radiofrequency cancer research project.

Rice materials scientist professor Boris Yakobson, Ph.D., a co-author on the paper, recalled meeting with Smalley in his hospital room at M. D. Anderson five days before his death.

"He looked very ill, breathing heavily through the oxygen mask, but all he wanted to do was talk about the physics of this very phenomenon," Yakobson said. "Oblivious of his ebbing health, Rick was focused in the future. He had told Congress in 1999 that nanotechnology would help revolutionize cancer treatment, and he was a scientist wanting to know whether this technology might be one of the things that would make that possible."

In the liver cancer experiment, a solution of single-walled carbon nanotubes was injected directly into the tumors. Four treated rabbits were then exposed to two minutes of radiofrequency treatment, resulting in thermal destruction of their tumors.

Carbon nanotubes are hollow cylinders of pure carbon that measure about a billionth of a meter, or one nanometer, across.

Control group tumors that were treated only by radiofrequency exposure or only by nanotubes were undamaged.

In lab experiments, two lines of liver cancer cells and one pancreatic cancer cell line were destroyed after being incubated with nanotubes and exposed to the radiofrequency field.

"I'm humbled by the results of this research," says Kanzius. "I realize it's early in the race, but Dr. Curley and his team have moved on this carefully with utmost speed. I look forward to continuing to work with them and hopefully to watching the first person be treated with this procedure. The race isn't over but
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Contact: Scott Merville
sdmervil@mdanderson.org
713-792-0661
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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