The development of chemotherapy has been a revelation since cancer has been a diagnosis, being successful as treatment for a majority of cancers. However, some cancers have a resistance to drugs and do not respond to treatments like chemotherapy. A new method of attacking the drug resistant tumors is by adding nanodiamonds to the chemotherapy.
Dean Ho is a biomedical engineer at Northwestern who has recently been adding flakes of diamonds to chemotherapy and administering to mice with drug resistance cancers. Since diamonds are only carbon, it is nontoxic and seemingly makes the drug less toxic to the host. The results thus far have shown that the chemotherapy can stay in the system up to ten times longer. The importance of this is that the drugs have more time to act upon the tumor, which seems to be related as tumor sizes have significantly decreased.
These trials are still in early development, but with such promising results Ho is planning to continue in larger animals such as rabbits. A concern is that there may not be an advantage over other drug carriers such as gold or silica that are currently being tested as well. Perhaps with more testing of natural, unlikely substances, there is potential for more effective drug carriers.
Posted by Liz Stangle (3)