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February 2nd, 2009
More than half of those diagnosed with cancer undergo chemotherapy. But the drugs that save people often leave them with painful side effects. Now scientists are taking a much smaller, but more powerful approach to targeting the deadly disease.
Valerie Buchanan never thought she'd be one of the 200,000 women every year who get breast cancer.
"I think that we're all aware that it could happen to us, but the reality when it does is a different story," she told Ivanhoe.
Buchanan acted aggressively, having a double mastectomy and chemotherapy. The grueling battle included side effects like nausea, weight gain and exhaustion.
"I guess the scariest part is that what the chemo could do to you," she said.
Chemotherapy drugs kill cancerous cells and healthy ones. Researchers are using nanotechnology to design a better plan of attack.
"Nanotechnology is a way to provide what we call targeted delivery of those drugs," Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D., director of the Center for NanoMedicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, told Ivanhoe.
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