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Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) of T cell trafficking in live mice used in the study

One of the main problems with cancer cells is that the body's immune system generally doesn’t recognize them as enemies. By using a crippled HIV-like virus as a vehicle to arm lymphocytes with T-cell receptors, researchers have been able to genetically engineer a well-armed battalion of tumor-seeking immune system cells. By also inserting a reporter gene, which glows “hot” during positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, the researchers were able to watch in real time as these "special forces" traveled throughout the body to locate and attack dangerous melanomas.  Read More

In nanocage-injected mice (left), the surface of the tumor quickly became hot enough to ki...

Cancer is a disease whose treatments are notoriously indiscriminate and nonspecific. Researchers have been searching for a highly targeted medical treatment that attacks cancer cells but leaves healthy tissue alone. A team of scientists at Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) is working on gold nanocages that, when injected, selectively accumulate in tumors. When the tumors are later bathed in laser light, the surrounding tissue is barely warmed, but the nanocages convert light to heat, killing the malignant cells.  Read More

A polymer implant, 8.5 mm in diameter, is embedded with chemical signals that encourage im...

In a world first, scientists have successfully eliminated tumors in mammals using a cancer vaccine carried into the body on a fingernail-sized implant. The new approach uses plastic disks impregnated with tumor-specific antigens and implanted under the skin to reprogram the mammalian immune system to attack tumors.  Read More

Stanford Professor Shan Wang and graduate student Richard Gaster, left, have developed an ...

Extremely sensitive nanosensor chips are being developed by Stanford University researchers in an attempt to detect the early signs of cancer, called biomarkers, in humans. The researchers say their sensor is around 1,000 times more sensitive than current technology and is accurate regardless of which bodily fluid is being analyzed. It can also detect biomarker proteins over a range of concentrations three times broader than any existing method. It is forecast that earlier detection of cancer biomarkers will lead to improved survival rates among cancer sufferers.  Read More

An iron-centered nanoparticle (left) has a coating of the sugar dextran, whose tendrils pr...

Researchers believe nanoparticles hold the promise of battling cancer without the damaging side effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatment. They have discovered that coating minuscule balls of iron oxide with sugar molecules not only makes them particularly attractive to resource-hungry cancer cells, it also makes them more effective by allowing them to get close to each other, but not too close to render treatment ineffective.  Read More

SEM micrograph of Multi Walled Carbon Nanotube bundles at about 7220x magnification (Photo...

Current heat treatments for human tumors, such as radiofrequency, have shown promising results over the last couple of decades, even though they apply only a single-point of heat to the tumor. However, a new technique could prove much more effective by using nanotubes to apply heat throughout the tumor. Scientists found that by injecting the man-made, microscopic carbon tubes into tumors and heating them with a quick, 30-second zap of a laser, they were able to effectively kill kidney tumors in nearly 80 percent of mice.  Read More

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