One of the drawbacks to chemotherapy is that it affects the entire body, meaning that the rest of your body which isn’t affected by the tumor/cancer gets affected, which is why many patients undergoing such treatment experience a variety of side-effects, such as nausea. However scientists might have found a way to overcome that by more effectively delivering the treatment.

Researcher Haifeng Xu and his team over at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Germany have found a potentially better way of delivering cancer drugs, which is through the use of sperm. The reason for choosing to use sperm is due to its natural mobility, and also because they can encase the drug within themselves which also means that the drug won’t get diluted and lose its effectiveness before it reaches its target. It also doesn’t cause immune responses (unless in the rare case the person is allergic to sperm).

What the researchers have done is that they soaked the sperm with doxorubicin, a common chemo agent, and then outfitted them with a magnetic harness, which allowed them to be guided with magnets to help reach their destination. In their tests which used mini cervical cancer tumors, the sperm carrying the drug was successfully in its delivery, and ultimately killed 87% of the cancerous cells within 3 days.

However before you get too excited about this potentially new treatment, it was done using bull sperm so whether or not it will be equally effective with human sperm remains to be seen. There are also questions that need to be answered, such as whether or not those magnetic harnesses the sperm are equipped with could have negative side-effects when left behind in the human body after delivery, but it does seem rather promising for now. More information on the study can be found on ACS Nano’s website.

Filed in Medical. Read more about Health, Science and _cold.

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