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Nanomedicine Kills Brain Cancer Cells

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the take-two-nanites-and-call-me-in-the-morning dept.

Biotech 99

destinyland writes "Scientists from the University of Chicago and the US Department of Energy have developed the first nanoparticles that seek out and destroy GMB brain cancer cells. Nanoparticles killed up to 80% of the brain cancer cells after just five minutes of exposure to white light, showing the promise of nanomedicine — highly-specific intervention at the molecular scale. Because nanomedicine could repair brain cells or damaged nerve and muscle tissue, the NIH has established eight Nanomedicine Development Centers around the country for their Nanomedicine Roadmap Initiative. Researchers have also used gold nanospheres to search out and 'cook' skin cancer cells with light — 'It's basically like putting a cancer cell in hot water and boiling it to death,' says one researcher. And the NIH Roadmap ultimately predicts 'novel tiny sensors ... that search for, and destroy, infectious agents.'"

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A video game idea ? (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700861)

Is it just me or will we be seeing a video game loosely based on this soon ? Sort of ender-esque

Re:A video game idea ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29701353)

Been done already, but with nanomachines: the Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid series.

Re:A video game idea ? (3, Interesting)

Nethead (1563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701629)

As someone that lost a brother and a sister to brain cancer, I hope it will become as simple as a video game. Even though we lost my sibs back in the early 60's, the ways to fight the disease haven't really advanced as much as I would expect. I hope this tech will be the one that brings humanity beyond this horrible disease.

Re:A video game idea ? (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701783)

There was a loosely related game to this for the Amstrad CPC home computers in the 80s. You would drive a miniaturized guy inside a human body, collect white cells and release them against infections (simple infections would be killed by your laser) until you could reach for the brain and find your ship for the way out.

It would also teach you the names of the various organs of the human body.

Re:A video game idea ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29702105)

Looks like it has been done several times.
Here's one more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcosm_%28video_game%29

Re:A video game idea ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29702455)

"Don't worry little Timmy, i'm going to blow you up to last Tuesday"

I could see 4chan playing this now, etching many phallic shaped objects in the head, or getting out to the skin and making them appear their... visually...

Re:A video game idea ? (1)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 4 years ago | (#29704269)

You could always play Rex Ronan - Experimental Surgeon for the SNES although I highly do not recommend it.

Awesome! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29700869)

Nanoparticles killed up to 80% of the brain cancer cells...

Awesome!

...after just five minutes of exposure to white light

Wait. What? So much for non-invasive.

The 1-2 punch (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701267)

Nanoparticles killed up to 80% of the brain cancer cells...

Team these nanoparticles with some microbrews for the ultimate in killer brain food.

Re:Awesome! (3, Funny)

theMoleofProduction (842123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701505)

Preliminary trials performed on cartoon characters were mostly non-invasive, though results were mixed:

In late 2008, subject W. E. Coyote was admitted suffering from chronic headaches. MRIs of the patient's brain revealed several cancerous growths on surface of the cortex, likely caused by the subject's attempts to induce "X-ray vision" by applying ACME® 3-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner & Radium to his scalp.

Researchers injected Mr. Coyote with the nano solution, then showed him a series of videos featuring a common ground-foraging bird simply running in circles at the top of a tall mesa.

After the videos, Mr. Coyote was presented with "gifts" from various charities: a hang glider, a butterfly net, and a gross of ACME® Brand Long-Distance Bottle Rockets. A moment after opening the last of the gifts, the subject raised one eyebrow, smirked, then clutched his temples and shrieked in pain before falling unconscious. MRI indicated that the glow of the patient's "idea light bulb" had been bright enough to activate the nano-solution. 70% of the tumor mass had been destroyed.

Unfortunately, soon after regaining consciousness the subject disappeared with his gifts, an electric wheelchair, and a half dozen bottles of Oxycontin.

Re:Awesome! (4, Interesting)

shadwwulf (145057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701699)

Actually, another approach to this is to activate the particles is by way of low-level and non-invasive radio frequency energy.

This man was the one that started a lot of the research into this kind of stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kanzius

As a cancer survivor myself, and somebody that has undergone Chemo, I am very intrigued and hopeful about this type of research. Lets hope it all pans out as we all hope.

Re:Awesome! (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702359)

Actually, another approach to this is to activate the particles is by way of low-level and non-invasive radio frequency energy.

This man was the one that started a lot of the research into this kind of stuff: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kanzius [wikipedia.org]

As a cancer survivor myself, and somebody that has undergone Chemo, I am very intrigued and hopeful about this type of research. Lets hope it all pans out as we all hope.

First off congrats on the victory. Secondly I too am very excited about this, but also all the paralell cancer research that is ongoing. Everything from this hardcore study to almost stumble upon [slashdot.org] ones. In 20 years I've seen cancer going from something horrible, to something very treatable. And in 20-30 years time it will hopefully be as silly as say -- the common flu.

Re:Awesome! (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702831)

Doctor: "I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is your brain cancer is as easy to cure as the common cold. The bad news is we have no idea how to cure the common cold."

Exploit (2, Insightful)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700879)

Great! Now The government can simply kill off the specific brain cells they find responsible for independent thought!

Re:Exploit (5, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700953)

Why bother with using advanced technology like this when the school system already does that? :)

Re:Exploit (3, Insightful)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701395)

This is so true it's not funny.

Re:Exploit (4, Funny)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701805)

I've been taught to find this offensive, treasonous, and politically incorrect.

Re:Exploit (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29704985)

Only on working days. Televangelists handle the weekends, especially Sundays.

You think like a ReThuglican Jew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29707157)

You think like a ReThuglican Jew

rise of species 000 (2, Funny)

mrnick (108356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700915)

"We are Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile."

Re:rise of species 000 (2, Informative)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702719)

I, for one, welcome our Borg overlords.

Side effects (5, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700951)

Nanoparticles killed up to 80% of the brain cancer cells after just five minutes of exposure to white light

Side effects may include death of 80% of non-cancer cells.

Re:Side effects (3, Funny)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701057)

Citation please.

Re:Side effects (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701203)

Here you go. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Side effects (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702033)

Hah! No, a serious citation, please - wikipedia isn't something people should take seriously for any educational or informative purposes.

Re:Side effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29702219)

*woosh*

Re:Side effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29702365)

For those who don't know how to hover their mouse over a link, here is another one [woosh.org] !

Re:Side effects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29702809)

Better? [oxfordjournals.org]

Re:Side effects (1)

Wain13001 (1119071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29703175)

Quite right!

link [encycloped...matica.com]

Re:Side effects (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29703515)

Sir, I'll have you know that Wikipedia page is well researched, and contains links to a variety of serious scholarly works on the subject and is ergo more informative than any single link to a source you approve of would be. Your refusal to even click on it just demonstrates that you have no affinity for nor desire to learn about the subject that WP page is about.

You're defending the indefensible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29707647)

No, his refusal to click on it shows that he knows about the claim that Seigenthaler killed Kennedy, which stood for months [usatoday.com] ; the guy named Essjay [wikipedia.org] who was put into powerful positions on Wikipedia after claiming he was a religious scholar even though he was a kid who was frankly a waste of carbon, and who was defended by Wiki-overlord Jimbo Wales even after it was clear what had happened; the man who was detained [juancole.com] at Canadian customs because of false information in his Wikipedia entry; or any of the other billions of things that show that Wikipedia is a complete disaster and that human knowledge is made less, not more, by its existence.

Wikipedia has actual negative impacts on real people and is run by people like Essjay who really aren't fit to be sweeping streets, and attempting to defend it makes you look like a fool.

Re:You're defending the indefensible. (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29719837)

Speaking of disasters, the amount of "whoosh" in this thread is enough to create a Category 5 hurricane.

Re:Side effects (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#29705005)

Here [wikipedia.org] , is that more serious?

Re:Side effects (5, Informative)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701111)

Usually in these cases, the particles are surface-activated to only attach to cancer cells. What this means is that cancer cells typically have unique antigens on the surface and the nanoparticles are treated to bind only to them. And since proteins are very picky when they pick what other things they bond to, there's a low chance that it will find another cell with similar morphology to attach to. Then again, considering how diverse and extensive the body is, I'm sure that there's a chance that it could find some other cell to bind to; but that's purely a statistical argument, I'm not referencing any biological data on that front.

Re:Side effects (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29701401)

The antibody in question binds the EGF receptor. Off the top of my head I can think of..... oh about every stem cell in your body that expresses this receptor. The author's system is great in a petri dish, but there's a reason it's published in a low tier journal.

Re:Side effects (4, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702019)

The antibody in question binds the EGF receptor. Off the top of my head I can think of..... oh about every stem cell in your body that expresses this receptor.

If I recall, it's also expressed at much, much, much higher levels in many cancers than it is in normal cells.

And the abstract to this paper [nih.gov] suggests that as well: "Overexpression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is observed in many cancers, sometimes accompanied by gene amplification." That abstract also suggests that in at least one type of cancer, the more EGFR you have the worse the cancer is. I'm not a cancer biologist and I'm not reading any more than abstracts tonight, but this paper [nih.gov] and this paper [nih.gov] at first glance seemed to indicate the same thing.

While the good cells are wearing targets, the bad cells are wearing many more targets, so if your efficiency at hitting targets is lower than 100%, you're going to be killing more bad cells than good cells.

The author's system is great in a petri dish, but there's a reason it's published in a low tier journal.

And that reason is probably the following: the 80% of cells in a dish is probably not that impressive compared to developed drugs, however this was just a proof of concept. The wright brothers only flew a few hundred feet. There are undoubtedly refinements that could be made to this system that would increase the efficiency, but it's not to that stage yet. This technology might turn out to be a true cure for cancer once it's refined.

And don't criticize them for doing it in a dish just yet, this press release [anl.gov] says "So far, tests have been done only on cells in a laboratory setting, but animal testing is planned for the next phase."

They can hardly be blamed for not delivering the magic bullet cure to cancer in one fell swoop, that's just not how these things work.

Next up, on Oprah... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701255)

We saw a headline that said "Nanomedicine Kills". So we shouldn't have anything to do with that, now should we?

Re:Side effects (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701431)

Side effects may include death of 80% of non-cancer cells.

I say kill 'em all, let FACS [wikipedia.org] sort 'em out.

In case you don't get that, fluorescent activated cell sorting sorts out cells, so you see...

Re:Side effects (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29706165)

Not to ruin the joke, but the article did say without damaging surrounding normal cells. 80% of the cells isn't bad, but its a treatment not a cure, patients will need to repeat the therapy again and again, as the remaining 20% start to grow back.

---

Cancer Treament [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Pro Forma (1)

Dorsai65 (804760) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700955)

I, for one, salute our new nano-particle overlords...

Re:Pro Forma (2, Funny)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701005)

Yeah, they're in our brainz killing our cellz. Sorry.

How (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29701273)

How do you salute something inside your own head?

Re:How (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29702867)

You think real hard about the American Flag.

Wish (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700965)

Wish I had the mind for the science involving any of the nano industries. It's starting to look more and more like it's going to be my generations plastic.

Re:Wish (4, Funny)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701059)

It's starting to look more and more like it's going to be my generations plastic.

I, too, look forward to the giant raft of entangled nanoparticles polluting the middle of the Pacific.

Re:Wish (2, Funny)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701155)

It's starting to look more and more like it's going to be my generations plastic.

I, too, look forward to the giant raft of entangled nanoparticles polluting the middle of the Pacific.

You mean entangled nanoparticles like water molecules? They already pollute the WHOLE Pacific.

Re:Wish (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702005)

Just until Hiro Protagonist makes them listen to Reason.

Re:Wish (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702487)

Just until Hiro Protagonist makes them listen to Reason.

REASON
Version 1.0B7
Gatling type 3 mm hypervelocity railgun system
Ng Security Industries, Inc.
PRERELEASE VERSION-NOT FOR FIELD USE
DO NOT TEST IN A POPULATED AREA
-ULTIMA RATIO REGUM-

Just like alcohol then! (1)

Again (1351325) | more than 4 years ago | (#29700993)

I read the title and thought, don't we already have substances to do this for us?

Re:Just like alcohol then! (1)

meow27 (1526173) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701209)

no because alcohol (in the blood) does not kill brain cells, it deactivates/slows them due to the poison.

Re:Just like alcohol then! (1)

vehicle tracking (1357065) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701471)

Alcohol kills the wrong brain cells. But, your comment made me think of another possibility. Addiction is driven by an area of the brain called a "pleasure path." If nanomedicine can kill brain cells, it can probably kill the cells that feed addiction and cure the addiction.

Re:Just like alcohol then! (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701831)

That may look like a good solution , but it's a dangerous path : fixing people by killing the 'undesired' braincells.

"An illegal thought has been detected. The brain cells producing that thought will now be destroyed. Have good day"

Re:Just like alcohol then! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29711577)

The technology required to go from detecting flawed cells to cells responsible for thought is remarkably staggering, if even at all possible; changing one's thoughts may be much more related to the "wiring" rather than existence of cells themselves.

So to stopping work here would be like stopping work on computers because you're afraid of AI.

That said I may not have fully appreciated the scope of intended humor for you post ;-)

What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29701009)

If there's even been a story that needed this tag, this is it.

Making Nanoparticles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29701031)

Every time I read one of these "nanoparticle medicine" articles I can't help but wonder of the manufacturing processes necessary for the medicine have been developed. I get the impression that alot of these nanoparticle treatments are crafted with such great care that no manufacturing process could hope to reproduce them in the quantities necessary for real-world use. Where's the slashdot article covering the research needed to develop manufacturing processes for these nano-particle treatments?

Don't expect too much from this treatment (3, Insightful)

Michael G. Kaplan (1517611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701073)

The article states that "cultured human GMB cells" were "killed up to 80 percent... after 5 minutes of exposure to focused white light".

How exactly are you going to expose a malignant tumor that has diffusely infiltrated the parenchyma of the brain to focused white light? You can't surgically resect a GBM unless you are willing to remove an entire cerebral hemisphere. If you scooped out part of it and exposed the remaining cavity to white light you would barely effect any of the remaining tumor.

Now if brain tumors only occurred in petri dishes then this treatment would result in a brief remission.

Re:Don't expect too much from this treatment (4, Funny)

hofmny (1517499) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701147)

I don't see the problem really. All you need to do is collide some anti-matter with normal matter, use the energy to warp space time, and use the curvature to bend light particles to the specific areas of the brain.

You such a pessimist :P

Re:Don't expect too much from this treatment (4, Informative)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701243)

You gest, but see, Proton Therapy [proton-therapy.org] :

The major advantage of proton treatment over conventional radiation, however, is that the energy distribution of protons can be directed and deposited in tissue volumes designated by the physicians-in a three-dimensional pattern from each beam used.

and Antimatter Therapy [rsc.org] :

While an x-ray beam deposits energy along its entire path through the body, a beam of charged particles does damage only after electrical interactions have slowed it sufficiently to create a high chance of collision with atomic nuclei. This means that proton beams deposit most of their energy over a focused area, such as a collection of tumour cells, in the last millimetre of their journey.

Re:Don't expect too much from this treatment (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29703759)

You didn't mention a sensor array or inverse tachyon pulses so I call your suggestion total shenanigans.

Re:Don't expect too much from this treatment (3, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701161)

Any number of possible solutions. Nanolasers; fiber optics; or they could use x-ray absorbing particles under the surface of the skull which can penetrate soft tissue.

The research as stated in the article isn't exactly meant to be implemented as is for surgical procedures. It has to be engineered in some way that can be used in actual surgical/therapeutic environments. The REAL STORY is that it's possible using a very simple and effective technique. No one said that it was going to be implemented exactly this way.

So I actually believe al contrare that there is much to be expected from this treatment.

Re:Don't expect too much from this treatment (4, Informative)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701189)

You can't surgically resect a GBM unless you are willing to remove an entire cerebral hemisphere.

You don't need to resect. You can access as with a Stereotactic biopsy [wikipedia.org] , using a computer and (previously done) MRI scans to generate a 3-D image of the brain mapped to the patient's head during surgery to guide instrumentation. This allows the surgeon to maneuver around blood vessels (bleeding being the most immediate threat) and such. Radioactive disks can be inserted and removed like this as well.

I believe the system used for my wife's biopsy was accurate to 0.4 mm. They only drilled a "small" (surgeon's words) 5/8 inch hole in her head, behind the right ear, for access. When done, it was patched up and you couldn't tell anything had been done after the incision healed.

Re:Don't expect too much from this treatment (1)

Michael G. Kaplan (1517611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701663)

Sorry, I meant curatively resect. I may have been too bold to even suggest that by removing half the brain it might be possible to cure GBM. GBM can never be cured, and it is not even clear if currently practiced 'palliative' resections extend life. Anyway therapies that use antibodies to target antigens expressed on target cells are promising, but the idea of requiring focused light to target glioblastoma cells that are sprinkle around the brain is pretty futile.

Re:Don't expect too much from this treatment (1)

BungeBash (971979) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701293)

Technically I thought from reading several years ago about this technology that white light passes through the epidermis. Therefor all the patient would actually do is have this injection for nano whatevers to the specified area and be exposed to natural sunlight.

not so well through.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29701623)

your skull

Re:Don't expect too much from this treatment (1)

cbnewman (106449) | more than 4 years ago | (#29714805)

first of all, a complete resection of a infiltrative glioma is not possible, because frequently by the time they're diagnosed, they've already crossed the corpus callosum into the contralateral hemisphere (google butterfly glioma. and those are just the cells we can see with MRI. we already know there are micrometastases that are not visible by /any/ currently available clinical imaging modality)

theoretically, you could do a gross total resection (we do these all the time) and irradiate the surrounding parenchyma with white light to reduce the tumor burden due to micrometastases. of course, we could just find a slightly different form of EM radiation (like x-rays) that penetrate better than visible light and activate the nanoparticles that way.

interesting stuff.

Just great... (5, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701099)

... that seek out and destroy GMB brain cancer cells ...

Wish they had things like this when my wife was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme four years ago. One afternoon, six weeks after diagnosis, she said she was sleepy. We said "I love you" and shared a kiss before she fell asleep. Later that afternoon, swelling around the tumor herniated her brain stem. She never woke up and died in my arms one week later. Twenty years together. I miss her every day and I don't think I'll ever recover.

Love the people in your life like there's no tomorrow. (We were lucky.)

P.S. For you Googlers, the more common abbreviation is GBM [wikipedia.org] .

{{{fahrbot-bot}}} (1)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701381)

You have a precious memory, and your experience serves as an example.

My mother had lung cancer four years ago. It woke me up to exactly what you said in your post. I left Silicon Valley, and moved back to my rural roots.

Three weeks after I got back, Mom nearly died of anaphylaxis brought on by an allergic reaction to her chemo. As I watched the oncology staff race to save her, I knew that I had made the right choice.

Today, Mom is doing well, and I relish being with my family, even when we annoy one another.

Re:Just great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29701427)

Dude, get married. Your wife and you shared a great life. She deserves to remain in your memory. But you must move on. The best way to recover from a loss is to move on.

you can't know ahead of time (4, Insightful)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701449)

If there's one thing I've learned in my life, it's that no one can predict one's reaction to mortality, whether one's own or someone else's. Some can pick up and go on, others can't, and there's no way to tell who is wired which way, until the reality hits.

Hopefully, you can come to understand this before you need others to understand this of you.

Re:you can't know ahead of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29702221)

I think I almost understand this, though I have never suffered such a loss. I have recently reconnected with an ex (due to my youthful folly) girlfriend after 36 years alone and we "clicked" unbelievably well. I really doubt (with pretty good evidence, I think, though I cannot predict the future) that there ever could have been anyone else.

This and other events inform me that the one thing you can be almost certain of is that many people will give you glib advice and move on before you have time to explain (if you even try) why it won't work.

I can offer my experience, which is that trusting the one, true God, who obviously loved my ex so much He kept me on the shelf for 36 years and changed me into the faithful, conservative Christian guy she needs instead of the hippie who (accidentally) dumped her 36 years ago, is the only way. I really believe, with substantial evidence, that I wouldn't even be alive today, let alone close to the most perfect woman I have ever known, if not for Him. I praise Him for all of it.

- (not the other) AC

Re:you can't know ahead of time (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702951)

If I know one thing about the issue it's that the most important thing is your support structure. They need to help you through the various phases of recovery (there may be more or less than twelve steps) including humoring you when you're hysterical with grief, and not humoring you when wallowing in it. Most of us lack a healthy support structure; we get propped up into self-destructive, bad habits by other people who think those bad habits are just a normal part of life.

It -might be- great... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701933)

First slashdot post to bring a tear to my eye.

I hope this method actually works. That wiki article mentions that there is some evidence of stem-cell like cells in GBM. Numerous treatments in other types of cancers have been able to destroy most cancer cells, but the stem cell population in many cancers is thought to be more resistant to those drugs, and therefore the minority of cells that treatment doesn't kill quickly seed new cancers. Most of those treatments though seem to focus on affecting cell division. The thinking as I've heard it is that cancer stem cells divide slower than other cancer cells, so they're less susceptible to it. This treatment though doesn't necessarily.

So while 80% isn't that high, that might be better than it sounds, because it might not be biased against destroying the cells you really want to destroy.

Re:Just great... (1)

DRecords (1653753) | more than 4 years ago | (#29703009)

Absolutely agree, same type of tumor and my wife of 35 years died 4 months after diagnosis. My research showed that they have made minimal advances in treating this type of tumor because of it's aggressive nature. Even with chemo and radiation the tumor grew so rather than subject her to the torture, we took her home and cared for her. It would be nice to have something that you know could cure the tumor, not just extend the misery.

Re:Just great... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 4 years ago | (#29704849)

I'm saddened by your loss. No one, couple, or family should have to go through this sort of thing. Not only are GBMs aggressive, but are difficult to treat via the "standard" treatment -- resect, chemo, radiation -- without great damage. And since no treatment gets everything, it's all just a stop-gap. For my wife, the tumor location (next to her brain stem) made resection impractical, so the other treatments were much less effective.

Well-meaning friends would mention Lance Armstrong, or another survivor, in an attempt to foster hope, but I had to explain that those "lump" type tumors were very different and in (relatively) easy-access locations. I used this analogy for her GBM... Mix salt (cancer cells) and sugar (normal cells) in a bowl and then try to remove only the salt. Every sugar cell removed is irreversible brain damage. If you leave even one salt crystal, everything grows back.

There are a lot of new treatments being investigated - Reovirus [news-medical.net] comes to mind. They're working on breast cancer at the moment, but it works on several types of cancer, like Metastatic Melanoma, as well. The problem is delivery as something like 99% of the population has antibodies for it. In addition, Scorpion Venom [dailynewscentral.com] is being investigated for brain cancer. All too little, too late for now.

My best to you and yours.

Re:Just great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29703163)

Where does the GMB abbreviation come from?
Is it foreign language? The article linked to by the original post shows the research as being done in the US and led by Elena Rozhkova.
Although the H+ magazine article says GMB the article they cite in Science Daily (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090909103118.htm)
uses GBM as the abbreviation.

Help me understand

Re:Just great... (1)

freespac3 (548049) | more than 4 years ago | (#29710417)

I am sorry for your loss.

Where's the tricorder (2, Interesting)

hofmny (1517499) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701107)

Seriously, we always read on Slashdot the great experimental breakthroughs, but we never really see the applications and doctors don't even know what is wrong with you half the time. Most of the problems I have had and saw a doctor for, they had no real clue what he problem was. Only later did I realize myself what caused the issue, like a certain food or allergic reaction. Medical practioners can't even tell if you have a virus or a bacterial infection, and instead just prescribe antibiotics because the patient demands it (blood tests for this are only semi-accurate, and can give false positives and negatives).

When are we going to see some real "in office" diagnostic technology, or is this just not going to happen in our lifetime?

Re:Where's the tricorder (1)

Archades54 (925582) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701447)

When people start paying 2grand per visit to pay off all the diff machines needed.
Hopefully though we'll see the costs come down in the future, the doctors can take the symptoms and do their best guess at what it may be, but its not always easy to spot. If they can find out enough to know where the problem may be, send u off for a blood test etc, see a specialist, whatever, then the treatment process can begin.

Re:Where's the tricorder (1)

hofmny (1517499) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701869)

Yeah, but the problem is literally, when the specialist says "Honestly, after examining you I have no idea what could be causing these symptoms, but let's see what the tests say".

Then later when the tests come in "The tests came back negative, so everything seems OK".

However, you still have the issue. So now the doctors just go with the most probable explanation which is a total educated guess. This is a problem that I imagine we can only solve with sophisticated (futuristic) diagnostic equipment.

Re:Where's the tricorder (1)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701495)

And when are we all going to have smart nano devices in our bloodstreams? They will float around, scan for all sorts of diseases, kill cancer as soon as it starts, clear clogs out of blood vessels, strengthen arterial weak points, monitor organ function and hormonal levels, and give a strikingly clear picture of an individual's state of health. Eventually, they will slow aging, and perhaps even stop and reverse it.

Re:Where's the tricorder (1)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29701609)

In an age where firmware upgrades to game consoles still result in bricked devices, I shudder to think what would happen if a bad update to nano devices in every human were pushed through (either mistakenly or maliciously). Besides, if everyone else has nanites to prevent disease, I won't have to worry about it either...

Re:Where's the tricorder (1)

chooks (71012) | more than 4 years ago | (#29703059)

It would certainly give a new twist to the phrase "DMCA take down notice".

God help us if they run Windows.. (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702579)

.. you'd get confusion: is this person already dead or it is still the BSOD glow?

Re:Where's the tricorder (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29704297)

And when are we all going to have smart nano devices in our bloodstreams? They will float around, scan for all sorts of diseases, kill cancer as soon as it starts, clear clogs out of blood vessels, strengthen arterial weak points, monitor organ function and hormonal levels, and give a strikingly clear picture of an individual's state of health.

We already have these, and have had them for a few million years. Most cancers are killed by them when they are only a few cells big. The kind that you hear about are the ones that somehow miss this culling process.

Re:Where's the tricorder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29703291)

Not in your lifetime.

Medical diagnose is crudely statistical, factor in physiological diversity, and you get the crapshoot.

Shining Visible Light on the Brain? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29701365)

It won't work.

Having worked on glioblastoma for a major pharma company, I'm quite confident that this is garbage. There's already very nice cures for glioblastoma if you're treating it in a dish... most notably a protein named BMP4. The problem is, you can't deliver it to the brain. If you can't effectively deliver a protein to the brain you're sure as hell not going to be able to shine visible light on the author's fancy nanoparticles in order to activate them in vivo.

Err ... Pardon Me ... But the Patient is Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29701369)

99.99% of the non-cancer cells were obliterated too!

Looks like an "Obama"-ized solution to global warming. Ergo, just kill everyone. No People, no global warming.

--9

Yet more nano medicine garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29701385)

Let us see you need white light. No they really need Near-UV light, cause that's what TiO2 Nanoparticles absorb and create free radicals (things that actually kills cells), and since UV doesn't penetrate tissue that well this will only affect the surface tumor cells. Moreover, this UV light will cause damage itself. And only 80% that leaves 20% still around. As an idea, this is stupid and only good for publication. I which the NIH/NSF would stop wasting money on such research. Spend on more fruitful cancer research like small molecule drugs, programed bacteria/virus and more practical nanodrugs. Not this sensetional nonesense that gets the public hopes up, when in reality it going no where.

This isn't new (1)

jbatista (1205630) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702197)

Nanoparticles killed up to 80% of the brain cancer cells after just five minutes of exposure to white light

Many people DO report seing a white light as they're about to meet their creator... Now if it were black light... well I guess it would kill 100% of the tumor (as well as a very good portion of colateral damage).

Duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29702209)

If you peel off all the intact brain cells in order to shine light on the cancer, you might as well remove the cancer cells manually. And be sure to put the intact cells back intact after you are done with your flashlight.

Term abuse and real nanomedicine (2, Insightful)

bradbury (33372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29702779)

The individual who submitted this item and the /. editor who approved it should be accused (and presumably flogged) for spreading buzzworditis. We have had "nanomedicine" using the definition of "medical intervention at the molecular scale for curing disease or repairing damaged tissues" (using sub-100 nm particles) since the discovery of penicillin 80+ years ago (and even earlier if you count some less well known drugs). The only thing offered by most current "claims" of nanomedicine involve more focused targeting, usually using antibodies combined with some focused radiation (heat, light, etc.) and is only the result of the fact that we have a somewhat greater knowledge of which proteins may be more highly expressed by cancer cells combined with somewhat less toxic radiation therapies (IR or visible light vs. X-rays). There isn't anything "new" here. This is simply a refinement of what we have been doing for 30 or more years. If you wanted to call this "nanomedicine" then you should also call the use of the chemotherapeutic drug "Gleevec" (which is now 8 years old) "nanomedicine".

I was at the conference in the early part of this decade when NIH announced to great fanfare that it was launching a program involving "nanotechnology" and "nanomedicine". It was clear at the time that they didn't know what they were doing (and I stood up in the NIH auditorium and told them so -- and pointed out that they would have to read Drexler & Freitas before they would reach that point). They have gotten somewhat better but by and large they are still doing more of the same (which is a well known problem with the standard medical grant approval research process -- one gets approved by making small incremental improvements, not by really innovating). As a result what goes by the name of "nanomedicine" is really nothing more than fancy chemotherapy.

It should be noted that we came much closer to real nanomedicine in the 1990's when there was a lot of activity with gene therapy research. Unfortunately due to a few deaths and the FDA squashing such efforts, gene therapy research is largely at a standstill. The work by Sangamo and others is making slow progress but it could have been much further along by now (we could have had virus based "limited intelligence" therapies that would sense what cells are cancerous and caused them to commit suicide).

Cancer and aging are both very simple. In terms /.'ers will appreciate, "the code becomes corrupted". Cancer is a subset of aging in that a specific subset of the genome (involving those genes regulating cell replication and migration) become corrupted. To fix these problems you have to eliminate the bad code and replace it with good code. In theory what chemotherapy and radiation therapy attempt to do is eliminate the bad code (but grossly -- think using an atom bomb when one would like to use a precision implosion to bring down a Las Vegas hotel). Replacing the cells with good code is what stem cell therapies (if one could use pristine stem cells -- those with unmutated/unaged genomes) would do. Even better would be using bacteria sized nanorobots to scan the code and fix the errors. That is what Robert Freitas has envisioned "chromallocyte" nanorobots doing. But their implementation is so far from the limited NIH vision of "nanomedicine" (think going to the moon vs. launching a bottle rocket in ones back yard) that it is a gross abuse of the term "nanomedicine" when used to describe enhanced chemotherapy.

Now, for those few who are nanoliterate among the readers... Drexler described a nanoassembler in 1992 (in Nanosystems). Freitas mentioned chromallocytes (and what they could do) in 1999 (in Nanomedicine V I and in more detail in a subsequent technical paper). Drexler and Merkle designed ~5000 atoms of a 4-8 million atom nanoassembler in the 1993 time frame (it took several person-months). We now have supercomputers capable of molecular simulations of nanoassemblers (the ribosome was simulated at Los Alamos in ~2003). After the design and simulate stages one has the build, assemble and test stages. No different from what we have been doing with cars and planes for decades. But we will not get there by seeing if we can build better bottle rockets.

Re:Term abuse and real nanomedicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29703027)

Maybe the people who already have GBMs can't wait for the moon shot.

Re:Term abuse and real nanomedicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29703375)

Given that the word's meaning is so easy to presume as anything done on or around the scale of nanometers, even Drexler has recognized that the battle over the use of the word 'nanotechnology' is a losing one.

Anyway, I admire your persistence, but as Drexler has recommended we should switch to the term 'mechanosynthesis' when referring strictly to nanotechnology that mechanically coordinates steric structures.

Vitamin D (1)

isochroma (762833) | more than 4 years ago | (#29708147)

What a waste of money. Vitamin D reduces cancer to background noise. Getting rid of chicks' bras gets rid of most of the rest.

Re:Vitamin D (1)

MLease (652529) | more than 4 years ago | (#29710697)

What a waste of money. Vitamin D reduces cancer to background noise. Getting rid of chicks' bras gets rid of most of the rest.

[citation needed]

Damn (1)

boggis (907030) | more than 4 years ago | (#29708783)

Time to change my sig.

Tagging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29716821)

> 'It's basically like putting a cancer cell in hot water and boiling it to death,'

Could we get a 'brainsoup' tag over here please?

Thankyou.

Abbreviation Error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757675)

GBM. Not GMB.

This is not intended to be a nitpick, but rather out of respect of the people who have it, we can at least abbreviate the disease correctly.

It is terrifying.

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