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February 22nd, 2008
Unfortunately, when it comes to treating cancer, modern medicine is still in its infancy. By and large, we still rely on debilitating chemotherapy regimens which take a shotgun approach to curing cancer by essentially poisoning patients in an effort to eradicate tumors.
But nanotech represents a bright spot in the fight against cancer. Researchers are increasingly turning to new, innovative therapies, based on particles measuring less than 200 nanometers. At that scale, particles passively target weaker-walled cancer cells and help localize treatment, increasing its effectiveness while minimizing damage to healthy tissue.
The medication Doxil, produced by Ortho Biotech Products LP--a unit of Johnson & Johnson (nyse: JNJ - news - people )--uses this approach to treat certain myeloma and ovarian cancers. It incorporates chemotherapy into 100-nm liposome particles that circulate through the blood over long periods and slip into the pores of tumor blood vessels, helping to concentrate treatment at the disease site.
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