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March 7th, 2007
Nanoparticles aim drugs directly at brain tumors
Nanoparticles - manufactured particles on the scale of atoms and molecules - are being developed to deliver drugs directly to cancer cells in the brain.
Right now, this system has been tested only on mice. Clinical trials involving people could begin within three years.
In order for most cancer drugs to be effective in the brain, they have to be administered in large doses. These toxic drugs kill the cancerous cells, but they also destroy healthy cells surrounding the tumor. Using nanotechnology, James Connor at Penn State University has devised a way to deliver smaller doses of drugs that target just cancerous cells using what's known as a "lipid-based nanoparticle."
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