In cancer care, different types of doctors often work together to create a patient's overall treatment plan that combines different types of treatments. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have found properties in gold that can allow its catalytic abilities to be used on living things without any harms.
Dr. Asier Unciti-Broceta from the University of Edinburgh's CRUK Edinburgh Centre, said: "We have discovered new properties of gold that were previously unknown, and our findings suggest, that the metal could be used to release drugs inside tumours very safely."
‘Changes to our body's normal processes or unusual, unexplained symptoms can sometimes be an early sign of cancer, and now scientists have discovered new properties of gold to treat cancer.’
"There is still work to do before we can use this on patients, but this study is a step forward. We hope that a similar device in humans could one day be implanted by surgeons to activate chemotherapy directly in tumours and reduce harmful effects to healthy organs", Dr. Asier Unciti-Broceta added.
The study was carried out in collaboration with researchers at the University of Zaragoza's Institute of Nanoscience of Aragon in Spain. It was part-funded by Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
Dr Áine McCarthy, Cancer Research UK's senior science information officer said: "By developing new, better ways of delivering cancer drugs, studies like this have the potential to improve cancer treatment and reduce side effects. In particular, it could help improve treatment for brain tumours and other hard-to-treat cancers. The next steps will be to see if this method is safe to use in people, what its long- and short-term side effects are, and if it's a better way to treat some cancers."