The researchers suggest their discovery method could be used to monitor other disease development and treatment. It also could play an important role in the study of arthritis, inflammation, infection, infraction, and stroke since those conditions also produce high acidity.
In addition to targeting cancerous tumors, the couple has discovered a novel delivery agent, a molecular nanosyringe, which can deliver and inject diagnostic or therapeutic agents specifically to cancer cells.
"Since we know the mechanism of delivery and translocation, we believe that we are able to tune the nanosyringe properties and engineer a novel class of therapeutic and diagnostic agents," says Reshetnyak.
In a project with the Cancer Center at Rhode Island Hospital, the URI researchers have successfully shown that the peptide can deliver nanogold particles into the cancerous tumor. Once in place, the tiny gold particles can absorb more radiation, providing a more lethal dose to the tumor, but not to surrounding health cells.
"Drs. Reshetnyak and Andreev research offers a potential for a new and more effective approach to the treatment of cancer with radiation, making it highly intriguing and important," said Edward S. Sternick, medical physicist-in-chief, Department of Radiation Oncology, Rhode Island Hospital and professor and vice chair radiation oncology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.
"About 1.6 million new cancer patients are diagnosed annually in the U.S." says Sternick noting that the number is expected to grow significantly, reaching 2 million cases per year in the next 10 years, a direct reflection of our aging population. Approximately 50 percent of these cancer patients will receive radiation therapy during the course of their disease.
The URI researchers are coll
|Contact: Jan Wenzel|
University of Rhode Island