Last Updated : 17 January 2011 at 11:15 IST
Gold in nano-medicine may save lives
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The research, published in the current edition of Clinical Cancer Research, was carried out by US-based life sciences company CytImmune Sciences Inc.
CytImmune’s technology is at the forefront of a raft of gold-based innovations as described earlier this year by the WGC in a paper entitled ‘Gold for Good: Gold and nanotechnology in the age of innovation’. The report demonstrates how gold nanoparticles exhibit a variety of unique properties which are showing great potential in a range of fields.
Dr Richard Holliday, Director, Technology at the WGC said: “Gold has a long history in the biomedical field, being the material of choice in many diagnostic platforms and a key constituent for rheumatoid arthritis treatment. The dawn of the ‘nano-age’ has further broadened the potential of gold in biomedical applications and it is exciting to see the outcome of this clinical trial which suggests that gold can act as an effective and safe drug delivery system.”
In medicine, gold nanoparticles can serve as a simple, elegant platform upon which potent therapies may be bound. In this clinical trial the nanoparticles, which were coated with both an immune-avoiding molecule and a potent anti-cancer agent, were shown to be very well tolerated and to target solid tumours. There is hope that such targeting technology will be effective against a range of cancers, including lung, pancreatic, breast and ovarian cancer.
Dr Lawrence Tamarkin, CEO of CytImmune Sciences Inc. said: “This phase 1 clinical study potentially marks the beginning of a new strategy in cancer treatment where gold nanoparticle-based cancer therapeutics are used first, before surgery, to reduce tumour burden. Reducing tumour size may require less sophisticated surgeries to remove any residual tumour, leading to shorter hospital stays and to improved patient outcomes. Phase 2 clinical studies will prove the value of this novel drug delivery platform.”
Dr Holliday continued: “By continuously reviewing and monitoring the global research landscape in gold science and technology, we are able to identify and, where appropriate, help accelerate the time to market key, new technologies that have social, environmental or medical benefits.”
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