"Sticky balls" treatment may keep cancer from spreading
A major breakthrough in cancer treatment may be on the horizon. Scientists at Cornell University have developed a potent combination of nanoparticles that target migrating cancer cells, preventing the spread of the disease throughout the bloodstream, according to a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The scientists concocted a “sticky ball” made of Trail—a cancer-killing protein previously tested—and other “sticky” proteins that attach to microscopic spheres or nanoparticles.
After injecting these sticky balls into the blood, they latched on to white blood cells. Thus, when a white blood cell with the sticky proteins on it brushed against a migrating tumor cell, the tumor cell died. The test results showed a significant deterioration of tumor cells after injecting the proteins into the blood.
Scientists are hoping this type of treatment can be used before surgery or radiotherapy. Although the results are promising, the team acknowledged that much more testing would need to be done on other subjects before advancing to human trials.