A form of gold nanotubes may have the ability to kill cancer cells and could hold promise as a treatment for mesothelioma patients, according to new research published in the journal Small. The findings of the nanotube study were summarized and reported by the online publication News-Medical.net.
According to the summary, gold nanotubes are microscopic hollow cylinders that are about one-thousandth the width of a human hair. Researchers with the University of Cambridge and the University of Leeds have found that when they added the gold nanotubes to mesothelioma cells cultured in the lab, the cells “ate” the nanotubes. When the cancer cells were targeted with a laser, the nanotubes inside them absorbed the light, heated up, and killed the mesothelioma cells.
“Laser light is able to penetrate deep into tissue without causing damage to surrounding tissue,” Professor Stefan Marciniak from the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research told News-Medical. “We hope in the future [the technology] can be used to cause localized cancer-cell killing.”
The study was funded in 2018 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in an effort to drive the development of engineering solutions, including nanotechnology, to treat hard-to-treat cancers.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It most often affects the lining of the lungs (pleural) and abdomen (peritoneal). It may more rarely affect the lining of the heart or testicles. Asbestos is a durable and fire-resistant mineral that was widely used around the world in construction and shipbuilding materials and friction products. Its use is now banned in more than 50 countries, but the United States still allows restricted uses despite knowing for decades that it can cause cancer.
“Mesothelioma is one of the ‘hard-to-treat’ cancers, and the best we can offer people with existing treatments is a few months of extra survival,” Dr. Arsalan Azad with the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research told News-Medical. “There’s an important unmet need for new, effective treatments.”
Beasley Allen lawyers handle mesothelioma claims. They are looking at cases of industrial, occupational and secondary asbestos exposure resulting in lung cancer or mesothelioma as well as claims of asbestos-related talc products linked to mesothelioma. Charlie Stern in our Toxic Torts Section is the lead attorney working on these types of cases. As an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, Charlie is well equipped to tackle asbestos cases, which are highly complicated and require someone with a true understanding of the facts, medical issues, science and law. He is working together with Will Sutton, an experienced lawyer in our Toxic Torts Section. Contact us for more information.