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Understanding How Nanoparticle Therapy Treats Cancer

By Melissa Hill, 9:00 am on

Cancer research has come a long way, but recent studies are finding more efficient alternatives to standard treatments like chemotherapy. One such treatment that Oklahoma home care providers believe shows promise is nanoparticle therapy. With further testing and a little luck, nanoparticle therapy may prove to be an effective treatment alternative compared to previous options. Read on to learn how and why nanoparticles could be the key to stopping cancer.

What Are Nanoparticles?

A nanoparticle is a very small particle with a diameter of less than 100 nanometers (nm). For comparison, a human cell is roughly 10,000 nm in diameter. Nanoparticles are an area of intense research due to their many applications, the most promising being cancer treatment. Nanoparticles are unique from bulk materials because their physical and chemical properties vary with particle size.

How Do Nanoparticles Treat Cancer?

Nanoparticles have a much larger surface area to volume ratio compared with other particles. The chemical groups scientists attach to the surface of a nanoparticle are able to target cancerous cells while leaving the healthy ones untouched. Nanoparticles can accumulate at high levels in cancerous cells because of their inefficient lymph drainage system and are unable to clear the cells sufficiently.

Why Is It Preferential to Chemotherapy?

Traditional chemotherapy treatments have three important shortcomings including:

  •  A lack of solubility
  •  A lack of selectivity
  •  Drug resistance

Nanoparticles can be used to coat and conceal a drug from the body’s immune system, increasing its longevity within the body. This increases the possibility of the drug lasting long enough to find its way to a cancerous cell. An example of this treatment is the medicine Doxil, which consists of hollow nanoparticles containing Doxorubicin that is typically used in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

These unique particles can also be designed to be highly reactive to light. After the nanoparticles have accumulated in the cancerous cells, light can also be applied. These specialized nanoparticles can either produce heat to cook the tumor or release high levels of oxygen to oxidize it. The most common light source is a red laser, which is introduced during surgery.

There are many exciting applications for nanotechnology throughout the field of medicine, the treatment of cancer being one of the most exciting. Many medical experts believe that nanotechnology will serve as the tool that sufficiently fights cancer should further research prove successful. Until then, seniors living with cancer still have other options in terms of medical and home care. Home Care Assistance provides flexible live-in and hourly home care Oklahoma seniors need to fight their disease in the comfort of home. We coordinate home care with your loved one’s physicians to ensure the right dietary and personal care needs are met without compromising his or her privacy. Give your loved one the home care he or she deserves and call 405-285-4191 to schedule a free consultation today.