Nanotechnology and minuscule gold particles may play a huge part in the next generation of cancer th...
Nanotechnology and minuscule gold particles may play a huge part in the next generation of cancer therapy.
Research published in the journal Science showed that antisense therapy, an experimental technique, could be used to prevent tumour cells from producing proteins that make them cancerous.
Antisense therapy works by blocking messenger RNA, an important part in the process of protein manufacture that is critical in developing cancer.
Professor Chad Mirkin is the lead author of the report, which was compiled by scientists from the US Northwestern University Centre for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence.
He said: "When mutations in the body's genetic material cause too many copies of certain proteins, cancer and other diseases can result.
"One way to target the genetic material is to block the messenger RNA by using 'antisense DNA', which prevents the message from becoming a protein."
Once inside the human cell, the modified DNA nanoparticles act as a sponge to bind to their targets and stop them from being converted to proteins.
Ed Yong, science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: "Until now, one of the major challenges has been to ensure the antisense drugs get to where they are needed without breaking down on the way."
Professor Mirkin and his colleagues found that by attaching multiple strands of antisense DNA to gold nanoparticles, the treatment was more stable and better able to reach its target.
"Powerful new cancer drugs will only live up to their potential if they can be efficiently delivered to cancer cells," said Yong.
"In upcoming years, we are likely to see nanotechnology play a greater role in detecting and treating cancers," he added.
The news that the ABI and British Medical Association (BMA) agreement on GP report (GPR) fees has broken down will usher in a period of uncertainty.
Lack of innovation investment in the UK insurance market has been highlighted by recognition of RGA's work in the US.
Protection business in 2012 and 2013 will be affected by events this year and some fundamental changes to the way customers policies are priced into the next. Richard Verdin explains.
Employee assistance programmes are in the spotlight due to a schizophrenic approach by government. But as Sue Weir points out, they are backed by solid research.
How will people buy insurance in future? Greg Becker visits the US for developments in online distribution.