Liver Cancer Treatment Currently Being Tested Using Nanotechnology
A Liver Cancer Treatment that doesn’t involve completely damaging your health is very uncommon.
Thankfully researchers are currently testing a new kind of liver cancer treatment that doesn’t involve toxic chemicals, radiation, or harmful drugs. Of all the different forms of cancers, the sixth most common type is liver cancer. Thankfully, researchers are forming different types of ways to treat it. There are various ways of going about treating liver cancer. One major option is to remove it and replace it by going through with a transplant. Another option is to attempt to remove the part of the liver that is cancerous.
The liver is a very important organ which filters the blood and helps get rid of toxins from the body. When going through a transplant, patients are required to keep taking immuno-suppressant drugs for the rest of their lives so that their body doesn’t attack the replacement organ. Unfortunately, those drugs themselves may have serious side effects. Another form of treatment used to treat cancer in general is chemotherapy / radiation treatments. The treatments are able to destroy cancerous cells, the downside being healthy cells in the vicinity are also damaged. Recently, scientists have been coming up with new forms of treatment that are far less invasive and minimizes the chance of harming the patient. These new liver cancer treatments involve non-poisonous and natural plant chemicals.
A professor of radiology by the name of Kattesh Katti from the University of Missouri’s School of Medicine has been studying nanotechnology for over 10 years to help fight against cancer. He has been using the science of creating things that are microscopic to pinpoint and destroy precancerous tumor cells in mice livers and certain human cells in his lab.
“It sounds like a fairy tale, but we are really in advanced stages in terms of tumor treatment, in terms of disease diagnostics.”
He has been using tiny gold particles covered in gum arabic, which acts as a protective coating. These coated gold particles are attracted to cancer cells which are far more susceptible to lower heat levels as opposed to healthy cells. After the particles move in and attach to the cancer cells, they are then destroyed by a laser which applies enough heat to kill the cancer cells but allow the healthy ones to remain unharmed.
“The patient will be administered with these nano particles. Within a couple of hours, the patient will be treated with lasers, and then the patient can go home. So, there is no radioactivity. There is no toxic waste. There is no toxicity, systemic toxicity, to the patient.” says Katti.
This means that the patient will finally be able to undergo liver cancer treatment that doesn’t involve the nasty side effects of chemo and radiation therapy. Even the drugs for chemo can often be toxic. They may be able to fight off tumors but it’s at the cost of the patient’s health. According to Katti, the liver cancer treatment should be relatively inexpensive since 1g of gold is all that is needed to help treat 50 patients. Apparently this treatment may not only be limited to cancer. There can be forms of this treatment that can help with other types of diseases, like arthritis.
If they can make this treatment work on humans as well as it does on mice, it can make a huge difference to the 800,000 patients who find out that they have liver cancer every year. It can even hopefully lower the 700,000 yearly death count of cancer. Over 80% of cases of liver cancer are deep in less developed countries, with the largest being in Asia and Africa. In the U.S., Liver cancer is part of the top 10 list of cancers that kill.