Chinese researchers have made a groundbreaking discovery: a therapy using nanoparticles that would not kill healthy cells while treating tumors.
The treatment can serve as an alternative to chemotherapy. Conventional cancer chemotherapy involves drugs that can annihilate cancer cells but also healthy cells, causing lower immunity to infection, fatigue and hair loss.
Researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Ceramics under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announced they have devised the therapy using nanoparticles can travel around the body and target only tumours, leaving healthy cells unaffected.
"Laboratory testing on mice has shown that tumours shrank by 85 % after receiving the therapy," said Shi Jianlin, lead researcher at the institute.
According to Shi, the nanoparticles, inorganic and nontoxic, will trigger a reaction in the acid environment of a tumour, consuming a large amount of oxygen molecules in the tumour cells and block the vascular system in the tumour cells so as to prevent the supply of oxygen molecules and nutrients from outside.