Does Chemotherapy Work? New Particle Tracks How Treatment Finds, Kills Cancer

First Posted: Jan 15, 2016 02:00 PM EST

With a new particle on the way scientists will be able to track chemotherapy drugs in real time, where they will be able to determine how well and how fast treatments respond to cancer. In this new study, researchers at Ohio State University created a technique that works at a cellular level, therefore enabling doctors to determine why two patients may have different responds to the same form of treatment.  

The researchers developed luminescent molecule, called a peptide, which comprises of two amino acids. The light was then shifted to the cancer medication so that it can when the chemo arrives within the cells. This technique allows the doctors to determine where the chemo goes and how long it takes to get there.

"This is very important for personalized medicine. We really want to see what's going on when we give chemo drugs and this work paves the way for the exciting endeavor," Dr. Mingjun Zhang, lead author of the study, said in a news release.  

The researchers' technique uses a peptide that can coexist with human cells without causing any harm or danger to a patient. The research was conducted in petri dishes in Zhang's lab where the technique will be tested on animals. The researchers used doxorubicin, a popular chemotherapy drug, to carry out the study. The new technique is not limited to one treatment, it can be applied to different types of treatments.

However with this new technique "you can label it and you can attach it to a drug and see where the drug goes and when it is released," Zhang said.

The findings of this study were published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

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