When a person is being treated for cancer, one drawback is that chemotherapy has unpleasant side-effects that cause nausea and other issues for patients. A new device being developed could put an end to those problems.
Researchers have developed a tiny device that causes a reaction in the cells and lets the cancer fighting drugs be activated right at the site of a tumor, which puts the medications right at the source, as well as helping to prevent the unpleasant side effects that sometimes happen with today’s cancer treatments.
The device delivers tiny quantities of palladium, a metal not normally found in human cells, but can be used to cause reactions in the cells. Plus, the palladium works without altering everyday cell functions, such as producing proteins and metabolizing energy.
Researchers at the Universities of Edinburgh and Kebangsaan Malaysia enclosed miniature particles of palladium in a nontoxic coating that is able to go into live cells. They discovered that, in the lab, the metal was able to cause precise reactions in the cell without hurting anything else..
While the research is at an early stage, scientists think the technique will let palladium be used therapeutically to manipulate cell activity. This might help create substances, like drugs, without upsetting the rest of the body. The discovery could lead the way for delivering therapies to where they are needed in the body and could also be used to deliver dyes to organs for diagnostic tests.