Ultra-Sensitive Nano-Chip Capable of Detecting Cancer at Early Stages

Body.Disease.Cancer1Today, the majority of cancers are detected on the macroscopic level, when the tumor is already composed of millions of cancer cells and the disease is starting to advance into a more mature phase. But what if we could diagnose cancer before it took hold – while it was still only affecting a few localized cells? It would be like putting a fire out while it was still just a few sparks versus after having already caught on and spread to many areas of the house.

An international team of researchers, led by ICFO- Institute of Photonic Sciences in Castelldefels, announce the successful development of a “lab-on-a-chip” platform capable of detecting protein cancer markers in the blood using the very latest advances in plasmonics, nano-fabrication, microfluids and surface chemistry. The device is able to detect very low concentrations of protein cancer markers in blood, enabling diagnoses of the disease in its earliest stages. The detection of cancer in its very early stages is seen as key to the successful diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

This cancer-tracking nano-device shows great promise as a tool for future cancer treatments, not only because of its reliability, sensitivity and potential low-cost, but also because of its easy carry-on portable properties, which is foreseen to facilitate effective diagnosis and suitable treatment procedures in remote places with difficult access to hospitals or medical clinics.

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Source: Medical News Today.

Targeting Cancer With a Triple Threat: New Nanoparticles Can Deliver Three Drugs at Once

Technology.Nanoparticle1Chemists have designed nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time. Such particles could be designed to carry even more drugs, allowing researchers to develop new treatment regimens that could better kill cancer cells while avoiding the side effects of traditional chemotherapy. “We think it’s the first example of a nanoparticle that carries a precise ratio of three drugs and can release those drugs in response to three distinct triggering mechanisms,” says the lead researcher and author.

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Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Targeting cancer with a triple threat: New nanoparticles can deliver three drugs at once.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2014.