Montreal, Canada — Canadian based researchers have come up with an effective, safer way of treating cancer – nanotransporters. While chemotherapy is a common way to neutralize cancer cells, they are known to be highly toxic, capable of rendering damage to healthy tissue, leading to fatal side-effects in patients. The innovative treatment methodology believes that using nanobots could make the treatment highly effective without the pain and trauma of chemotherapy.
According to a study published in the journal Nature Nanotechology, researchers at Polytechnique Montreal, the University of Montreal and McGill University have published their findings which show that nanorobots replete with anti-cancer drugs can go directly through the bloodstream and kill tumors at their most vulnerable areas.
In a press release, Dr. Sylvain Martel, director of the Polytechnique Montreal Nanorobotics Laboratory, quoted,
“This innovative use of nanotransporters will have an impact not only on creating more advanced engineering concepts and original intervention methods, but it also throws the door wide open to the synthesis of new vehicles for therapeutic, imaging and diagnostic agents.”
As part of experimentation with mice, the researchers loaded Magnetococcus marinus bacteria with cancer drugs, with the help of a chain of magnetic nanoparticles to help them traverse close to the area of tumors. A sensor capable of measuring oxygen concentration, was used to locate the active parts of a tumor. The researchers added that the goal was to send the drugs to hypoxic zones of the tumor, the areas with low concentration of oxygen caused by rapidly progressing cancer cells. The hypoxic zones are known to withstand contemporary cancer therapies, including radiotherapy.
The researchers were successful in their experiment of guiding nanobots to a tumor, in mice. They have conclusive reasons to believe that precision-based treatment with the help of nanobots, can be the future of cancer treatment. Martel added,
“Chemotherapy, which is so toxic for the entire human body, could make use of these natural nanorobots to move drugs directly to the targeted area, eliminating the harmful side effects while also boosting its therapeutic effectiveness.”