Study reveals tiny gold flakes could be used to tackle cancer

Tuesday 08 August 2017 2 months ago 105   Stockholm   Print

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Report  Web Desk : SCOTLAND: Scientists from Edinburgh University have found that gold could be used to tackle certain cancers. Researchers at the University of Zaragoza’s Institute of Nanoscience of Aragon in Spain, with funding coming from Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council assisted in the study. Researchers say that flecks of gold can be used to fight cancer. They sheathed minute fragments, known as gold nanoparticles, in a chemical device. It is expected that such device can decrease the side effects of chemotherapy by targeting only the diseased cells. As gold is termed as a safe chemical element having the ability to accelerate or catalyse chemical reactions, it is believed to be having no side effects on the human body. According to The Independent, Dr Asier Unciti-Broceta, from the University of Edinburgh’s CRUK Edinburgh Centre, said: "We have discovered new properties of gold that were previously unknown and our findings suggest that the metal could be used to release drugs inside tumours very safely. Dr Aine McCarthy, Cancer Research UK’s senior science information officer, said: "By developing new, better ways of delivering cancer drugs, studies like this have the potential to improve cancer treatment and reduce side effects. In particular, it could help improve treatment for brain tumours and other hard-to-treat cancers. "The next steps will be to see if this method is safe to use in people, what its long- and short-term side effects are, and if it’s a better way to treat some cancers." "There is still work to do before we can use this on patients, but this study is a step forward. We hope that a similar device in humans could one day be implanted by surgeons to activate chemotherapy directly in tumours and reduce harmful effects to healthy organs." 02