The problem with more conventional methods of cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy and radiation, is that it is not a targeted treatment. This means that the patient’s entire body is being blasted with chemicals in a bid to kill of the tumor cells, which at the same time also destroys the good cells, which is such treatments usually comes with some nasty side-effects.

Obviously there could be more efficient ways of dealing with tumors, which is why researchers are exploring new ways of killing off tumors, and one of those ways is through the use of nanobots. These nanobots were created using DNA from a virus, and then loaded up with an enzyme called thrombin. They then attached small bits of DNA designed to specifically bind to molecules found in tumor cells which helps to guide these nanobots.

Once attached to tumor cells, the thrombin in the nanobots will be exposed, clot the blood supply to the tumor, which effectively cuts off nutrients to it and ultimately killing it. So far during their testing, the researchers have had some luck with mice that were infected with human breast cancer cells. The tests showed that this new delivery system helped to extend the life of the mice and even slowed the growth of the tumor.

It also works with melanoma where the nanobots actually helped to prevent the spread of the disease to other parts of the body, such as the liver. At this stage the treatment is still experimental but it definitely shows a ton of promise. According to Guangjun Nie, one of the researchers on the project, “Our research shows that DNA-based nanocarriers have been shown to be an effective and safe cancer therapy. We are currently working with a biotech firm to translate this revolutionary technology into a viable anti-tumor therapeutic.”

Filed in Medical. Read more about Health and Science.

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