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Nanoshells could deliver cancer drugs directly to tumors with fewer side effects

Nanoshells could deliver cancer drugs directly to tumors with fewer side effects

Health
Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Scientists at Rice University are perfecting a novel drug delivery system for treating cancer. The system utilizes gold nanoparticles, which, when zapped with a laser, release a drug inside the tumor cells.In recent lab tests, scientists used gold nanoparticles to smuggle toxic doses of two common cancer drugs, lapatinib and docetaxel, into breast cancer cells. When hit with the laser, the nanoshells successfully released the drug doses.Drugs used to treat cancer are especially toxic and are often rejected by tumor cells. To have an effect on the hard-to-penetrate cells, large doses are required. These large doses cause a variety of harmful, often intolerable side effects.By sneaking small doses into cancer cells, scientists can more accurately target tumors while avoiding ...