Chemotherapy and radiation have little impact on pancreatic cancer. A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is often a death sentence. In the
United States in 2016, some 53,000 new cases will be diagnosed, and 42,000
patients will die of the disease, estimated the National Institutes
But research now being reported in ACS Nano
could eventually lead to a new type of treatment based on gold nanoparticles.
‘Gold nanoparticles could limit tumor growth and metastasis in a model of pancreatic cancer, revealed a new study.’
Scientists have previously studied these tiny gold particles as a
vehicle to carry chemotherapy drug molecules into tumors or as a target
to enhance the impact of radiation on tumors. In addition, Priyabrata
Mukherjee and colleagues previously found that gold nanoparticles
themselves could limit tumor growth and metastasis in a model of ovarian
cancer in mice.
Now, the team has determined that the same holds true for mouse
models of pancreatic cancer.
But interestingly, the new work revealed
details about cellular communication in the area surrounding pancreatic
tumors. By interrupting this communication - which is partly
responsible for this cancer's lethal nature - the particles reduced the
cell proliferation and migration that ordinarily occurs near these
Gold nanoparticles of the size used in the new study are not
toxic to normal cells, the researchers note.