Oregon State University scientists have developed a nanomedicine platform for cancer that can help doctors know which tissue to cut out as well as kill any malignant cells that can’t be surgically removed.
The platform allows for greater precision and thoroughness in cancer treatment.
Here’s how it works:
Nanoparticles tightly loaded with a dye compound are administered systemically – injected intravenously or into the peritoneum, the abdominal cavity. When they reach the tumor site, the tumor’s intracellular environment effectively flips the switch on the compound’s fluorescence.
That enables detection by a near infrared (NIR) imaging system that helps surgeons know in real time what needs to be removed.
Any glowing areas that can’t be cut out are given phototherapy – irradiated with a near infrared laser, which causes the nanoparticles to heat up and kill the residual cancer cells. The findings by researchers in the OSU/OHSU College of Pharmacy and OSU College of Veterinary Medicine were published this month in Theranostics.