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X-rays For Stargazing Turn Into Cancer Treatment

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the as-above-so-below dept.

Medicine 59

derGoldstein writes "Discovery posted an interesting story of how X-rays that are used by astronomers for determining the various chemical abundances inside stars could also potentially be used for more effective radiation therapy: 'Radiation treatment is a coarse instrument at best, since it destroys surrounding healthy cells as well as cancerous tumors. Much research is underway for targeted methods to reduce the collateral damage and attack just the cancer cells, including embedding nanoparticles inside tumors ... Nahar and Pradham envision a prototype device capable of generating x-rays (gzipped PDF) at the key frequencies to trigger a flood of low-energy electrons in platinum and gold, based on their computer simulations. Gold or platinum nanoparticles would amass naturally in cancerous tumors in the body, and could then be zapped with the focused x-ray beam.'"

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This sounds neat (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887252)

This sounds like a neat cure. I wonder how different this is from other targeted focused energy treatment.

Re:This sounds neat (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887422)

Question is do the cancer cells naturally accumulate gold and platinum when other cells do not, and if so, why?

Re:This sounds neat (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887454)

The article didn't mention, but I get the impression that cancer cells will accumulate them where as normal cells don't. In reading the article it sounds like platinum would be the preferred metal.

Re:This sounds neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887598)

Antibodies is one way they are doing it.

Re:This sounds neat (0)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888664)

So then.
Isn't this just the same cure that they found for AIDS [slashdot.org] ?

Re:This sounds neat (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887470)

Question is do the cancer cells naturally accumulate gold and platinum when other cells do not, and if so, why?

If they did, we could mine cancer patients and they could finally pay for their therapy. I agree, where did THIS little bit come from? I suppose you can try to tag the cancerous particles with gold or palladium, but there are plenty of other toxic therapies that would be improved by targeting only cancer cells. The trick is to figure out how to select cancer cells and leave the rest of the body alone and do it in the body and not the test tube.

Just a wee bit of handwaving....

Re:This sounds neat (1)

Wdi (142463) | more than 2 years ago | (#36889316)

Platinum complexes are a standard treatment for many cancers. They intercalate in DNA, especially in rapidly dividing cells, and block DNA transscription.

These contain isolated (but complexed) metal atoms, though, not nanoparticles. I do not know whether these compounds could also serve as effective electron sources on X-ray irradiation, or whether they might form nanoparticles in a tumor cell, or outside dead cells after killing them in their primary therapeutic function.

Re:This sounds neat (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36891686)

These contain isolated (but complexed) metal atoms, though, not nanoparticles. I do not know whether these compounds could also serve as effective electron sources on X-ray irradiation

Most ranges of X-rays (possibly overlapping into the extreme UV) are caused by transitions in either direction between an electron in one of the innermost couple of electron shells and a "free" electron (absorb an X-ray and an electron gets kicked out ; have a free electron then relax into that hole and an X-ray gets emitted). So, the outer, "bonding" electron shells aren't much involved. At which point, I would expect that, from the X-ray's point of view, it doesn't much matter what the chemical situation is - it could be a Pt atom in a nugget the size of your fist, or a Pt atom (ion) in a plasma, they'd still react as Pt atoms.

To validate this view point : use of X-ray irradiation is one common tool for identifying the composition of unknown samples in the Earth Sciences, because it doesn't give a shit about the chemical environment of the atoms ; correspondingly, this techniques is fine and dandy for sodium and upwards in the Periodic Table ; but on the top row (think : carbonates ; the oxygen in silicates ; water, bound or "free" ; hydrocarbons), it's a lot harder to get clear and unambiguous results. PRECISELY because on this row, the innermost electron shells are involved in the chemical environment.

So, taking a drug that grabs onto replicating DNA ; wedge a Pt (or Au ...) atom somewhere into the structure ; feed to your lab rat ; put lab rat under X-rays. If you get enough of the drug to the sites of vigorous DNA replication, you should be able to fry that tumour.

Equally, aim the X-ray beam at the rat's balls, or a busy uterus, and it's Birth Defect Central for your next stopping point. Which is nothing new for chemotherapy. It's not a "golden bullet", even if it is a potentially useful tool.

Re:This sounds neat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887758)

You all get a fail in your reading comprehension today. From the summary AND from the PDF available at the second link in the summary, they state they intend to introduce the required elements into the body.

Re:This sounds neat (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887942)

Most of the targeting is based on making the beam mainly hit the tumor that they want to hit. Methods include using a beam (you can't really focus x-rays), and making that beam enter form various angles so that the surrounding cells get a lower dose than what the beam hits. But that is very crude. It's like trying to kill your kidney while leaving your other organs intact by bashing you with a baseball bat from all sides instead of just bashing right at the kidney.

Gold and platinum would have to accumulate in the cell because they figure out how to attach them to something that is selectively taken up into the cancer cells. Generally, this is how chemo works, some nasty chemical is delivered something it is riding on, or just happens to be selectively taken up into the cell. In some cases, the chemical is taken up only near the injection site and changes into something (more) inert as it moves away so that a needle can deliver the chemical to a gland or tumor spot.

This article is proposing what you might see as a combo of chemo and x-rays.

Re:This sounds neat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36888596)

Yep, I know someone working on their Phd on this exact topic and said that the Auger electron yield was lower than expected, in addition to other problems handling cancer cells (prematurely dying/temperature regulation/nanoparticles showing up where they shouldn't/etc/etc).

Also, this PDF talks about a tunable monochromatic X-ray source as if they have to invent one. What the hell?? Just put a proposal in at a synchrotron.... if the spectral purity is too poor, find a facility that makes use of a DCM and a DMM. It won't get much more monochromatic than that.

C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887276)

Summary does not follow from headline. What does mundane x-ray therapy have to do with astronomy? No, I don't want to RTFA for that. You teased it in the headline, re-teased it in the first sentence of the summary, then explained it not. I have to read this summary in a sing-song version of an Australian accent with half my brain removed, while dangling shiny things in front of my face, in order to get the mood it's written in.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887456)

I've accepted that Slashdot is like a skin mag, the articles are mostly just an excuse...

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887480)

Yes, but for what? Do I need to enable something other than javascript to see the skin?

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887574)

The comments are the skin ;-)

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887618)

I've seen skin, and this isn't it. This isn't even scab.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887688)

Well like amateur porn you have to sort through all the boring and disgusting stuff to find the good stuff.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887502)

I've accepted that Slashdot is like a skin mag, the articles are mostly just an excuse...

I don't see the slashcode any more, I just see Goatse, Tubgirl, and CowboyNeal.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887518)

I don't want to see that skin.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (3, Informative)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887500)

They scientists discovered a unique property of certain x-rays that will cause metals like gold and platinum to emit electrons that can kill cancer but the electrons aren't powerful enough to damage neighboring cells. This discovery was made by astrophysicists who were doing computer simulation of emission spectrum of all the different elements so they could get a better understanding of the composition of stars. Now if you actually read the article you would have known this, it isn't very long and is a fairly easy read even for someone who isn't in the field.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (2)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888302)

It's actually in the summary as well:
"...X-rays that are used by astronomers for determining the various chemical abundances inside stars..."
So he complained after reading the headline, and part of the summary. In true Slashdot fashion.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888892)

No, I read the whole summary, and that is nothing but a recapitulation of the premise in the headline. It says nothing interesting about cosmic x-rays and treatment.

And yes, I certainly could RTFA, but then why write a summary at all, if it's not going to summarize the main point in the headline so that I don't have to RTFA just to get the main point in the headline?

This is /., not a click-through honeypot.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#36889282)

Jesus fucking christ. If it doesn't fit in a twitter post you lazy fucks just don't want to know.

"You mean I have to *read* something to understand it?!"

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36889400)

There's a reason the word "summary" isn't a synonym for "click here". If I have to click through just to understand the headline, then the summary did not summarize.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#36889598)

The summary was perfectly succinct, and even featured the salient bit of information you were bitching about. You have to do more than skim read it and then immediately leap to the "reply" button though, which is clearly what you did.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#36889432)

Jesus fucking christ. If it doesn't fit in a twitter post you lazy fucks just don't want to know.

Hi, welcome to slashdot, take a seat, I'll be right with you.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887658)

Do you mean the other half of your brain removed? You're a dullard and an ass if you can't read that.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887734)

Well, the headline is wrong too. X-rays are not used for stargazing. Stargazing is a passive only endeavor. X-rays are emission only deal.

Astronomers use x-ray spectrum to measure high energy processes in the universe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandra_X-ray_Observatory [wikipedia.org]

Now, the content of the actual treatment is also *old*. There were methods to try to accumulate iron in tumors then using the magnetic field of an MRI to zap (cook) the tumors. Another is using nanoparticles to deliver chemotherapy just to the tumors themselves. This treatment is a simple variation of the MRI method except with non-ferromagnetic materials. Basically, a photoelectric effect.

And what is the magic step in all of these treatment options? The actual delivery of the material into the tumor cells. If that is worked out, then the hardest part of the cure is complete.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888356)

Well, the headline is wrong too. X-rays are not used for stargazing. Stargazing is a passive only endeavor. X-rays are emission only deal.

I actually knew that when I submitted this, but it was the closest headline I could fit. The problem is that you can only fit so many characters into a headline, so when I submit stories I often have to truncate the title to a point where it's no longer technically accurate. I think they have to limit the title length so it "fits" in RSS feeds (as one line, rather than a split sentence).

The first thing to go is grammar, and if it's not short enough by then you have to abbreviate anyway you can.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888994)

Here's how:

"Cosmic X-Rays Cure Cancer

Scientists studying stars discovered that certain metals emit certain wavelengths of X-rays. From that they deduced they could implant these metals preferentially in tumors, then use X-rays at those wavelengths to emit electrons from the metal to kill the tumor."

With appropriate hyperlinking to TFA pretty much anywhere in there.

So now you'll get whacked with a rolled-up newspaper for being sensationalist in the headline, but not by me. And I'd probably want to read TFA now, to figure out exactly how they did it, because the summary is intriguing instead of frustrating, and the details are all I need.

P.S. My subject line here isn't a personal attack; it's a line from True Lies.

Re:C'est Merde. Who writes this shit? (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 2 years ago | (#36889346)

So now you'll get whacked with a rolled-up newspaper for being sensationalist in the headline, but not by me.

Exactly -- If I submitted a story with the title "Cosmic X-Rays Cure Cancer", if it even got posted, the first comment would be "the title implies that X-rays from space cure cancer!". I try to submit stuff that will generate interesting discussion, so I try getting the gist of the subject in the summary, because I know most people don't RTFA.

In this case, It's not really about the fact that it was thought of by astronomers, but rather that it could advance radiation treatment (which is like a sledgehammer), into a more focuses, targeted system. That is what's interesting about the story. The fact that it's linked to astronomy is just an interesting tidbit, of no significant importance -- but it does make it more interesting than just "advances in radiation therapy".

gold or platinum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887286)

Clearly a treatment designed for the rich so they can just say "I'm filled with gold!"

Re:gold or platinum (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887364)

"Yes, My schtoogie is made of GOOOOOLD! Isn't that weird?"

Cancer is a scam. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887498)

Hi. I've had cancer already and this entire X-ray nonsense causes neighboring cells to become cancerous more than it kills a tumor. Understanding the life cycle of these bodily disorders of a compromised Immune System is key to ministering a remedy for your own wellness to improve. In my exploration through this planetary environment and ecosystem, none has urged my curiousity other than the Fungus Kingdom. Consider the folllowing disclosure of facts about Fungii:
1. A fungus can't survive a high-PH environment.
2. A fungus creates virus to invade a host for compromising it's Immune System and therto integrate with that foreign Nervous System. while releasing neuro toxin to avoid being isolated by the host..
3. A fungus reduces it's host's PH to decompose the living tissue for absorbtion.
4. A fungus primary absorption of is sugar then expel alcohol.
5. A fungus ages itss life cycle to grow a fruiting body where releases it's seed.

Consider the work of Nobel Prize winner Otto von Warburg (oxygen enation repels cancer), Raymond Royal Rife (fungus changes form when PH of it's substrate changes from either alkaline or acid), and surgeon Dr Simoncini (CancerIsFungus.Com).

It is my observation that everyone has cancer already. It takes hold when your lifestyle takes a turn for the worse, either your immune sytem is compromised for a while enough for fungus to take root to adapt, or your body lacks nutrition to maintain it's health.

Before there was cancer, it was KNOWN as Consumption: because the sudden weight-loss of the sufferer was irregardless of their eating habit to regain weight. Raise your body's PH through food quality and good oxygenating exercises, or else the PH lowers and the fungus spreads. If you want to know your PH then use a DIGITAL PH TESTER from a gardening or hydroponics sales/store to test your Saliva because it is same link to your spinal fluid and blood PH.

That is all I have to say for Slashdot. Thank to Rob (CmdrTaco) for this platform to post, and I hope for some good discussion

Re:Cancer is a scam. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887540)

Are you sure that subluxations aren't somehow involved? You remind me of somebody...

Re:Cancer is a scam. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36887704)

I was thinking the same thing.

What is subluxation per your usage? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36888456)

Hi. would've posted sooner but this website is puting delays in between comments. What is the purpose of such forum if this prevents me from responding and debating?

I looked subluxation in a dictionary where says "partial joint dislocation" and that is all? You sound like the resident chiropractor so maybe you have more time to explain how this word is used from your experience.

I've seen images from a veteranarian working to amputate a animal limb and the bone cancer looked as though caused the limb to shatter. Looked verry painful, but cancer is also known to release so-much neuro toxin that the host is doped-up in an altered state of mind that they can't feel the full spectrum of pain feedback other than soarness and fatigue. I cited my source authors and how their research and work was used to remove cancer from myself and others. Can you help out some of the readers? thx.

Cancer is profitable to treat (1)

nido (102070) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887680)

What incentive does the medical industry have to cure it?

The Mayo Clinic got to bill Medicare $1000/injection for my grandmother's weekly shots that were supposed to boost her red blood cells. After six months they couldn't justify it anymore, and turned her over to hospice care. She passed away a week later.

Sure, her doctors meant well, and were practicing the kind of medicine they were trained in...

Re:Cancer is a scam. (1)

sydbarrett74 (74307) | more than 2 years ago | (#36889240)

Before there was cancer, it was KNOWN as Consumption:

Consumption is the archaic term for pulmonary tuberculosis, not cancer. Wanker.

Yeah but... (1)

Frangible (881728) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887736)

Gold and platinum will go to the tumor... and liver... and kidneys... etc... so this isn't so perfect either. Further, ionizing heavy metals isn't the same thing as ionizing cancer cells.

A better option is probably something like the gamma knife, where multiple beams are focused to a single point within the tumor. This seems like a cheap and less effective way of evading patent law.

Re:Yeah but... (3, Insightful)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888102)

The purpose is to surround the metals with a small layer of plasma. This plasma is what kills the cancer cells.

This plasma will only occur where
a) there is gold/platinum
b) where they focus the X-rays. Focusing the X-rays is done just like your gamma knife: multiple beams from different directions, converging on the tumor.
Since liver and kidneys are not radiated, you get no plasma there...

So it's more precise than only using converging beams of X-rays.

X-Rays cause as much cancer as the kill. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36890866)

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. Ending back around Year 2002 I knew a main Loki Entertainment developerJohn Hall (auther of Linux Games porting on Ebay) that felt a lump under his arm and had it checked by a doctor. After this first notice of having contracted cancer in his lymph nodes, he died from THERAPIES within 9 months of being but a couple months before is when tthey used that Gamma Knife on his brain. The surgeries all went fine, scans reported no more cancer, he continued taking the medications they assured onto him, but his lifestyle never changed per his documentation: the cancer kept coming back, and they kept cutting it out and scanning him.

Now there are studies proving that all the scanning causes cancer more than anything else. He documented every drug and surgery down to the shadow and speck of dust, onto his website http://overcode.yak.net/ [yak.net] where he entered a coma and died bu the journal might still be available to you from http://archive.org/ [archive.org] if you are persistent in search. The cancer traveled from his lymphatic system to his brain, where they boasted to excise the cancer using the verry same Gamma Knife that you advocate. How can you advocate what you yourself have't shown to have experienced?

There is more evidence in changing your lifestyle through diet and metabolism as the only way to defeat cancer.

Re:Yeah but... (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888290)

it doesn't matter if the they also go to the liver and kidneys, because you don't zap the liver and kidneys with the X-rays anyway (assuming the tumor is elsewhere of course).

And you don't need to ionoize cancer cells, smacking them with the electrons from the metal will do the job.

Though of course this is someone who has "envisioned a prototype" which I think is the furthest from a working device I've ever heard described.

even if it works... (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#36887798)

Gold and platinum... does anyone else see the problem here? (Hint: it won't be cheap)

Re:even if it works... (3, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888218)

Cancer treatment already isn't cheap. The small amount of gold an platinum this would require will be swamped by the rounding error on the bill.

We already use gold to cure cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36888874)

Prostate seed implants sometimes use an isotope of gold.

'ey, you! (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888264)

yes, but when you are finished with the treatment, doctors will tell you, 'You are golden'....

Gold is already used... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36888952)

...as sodium aurothiomalate (ie, a salt of gold) in the treatment of arthritis. That costs a maximum of £11 per week.

Re:even if it works... (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36896058)

Gold and platinum... does anyone else see the problem here? (Hint: it won't be cheap)

Nope, only you see this as a problem, and that is because you are commenting on something that you don't know anything about.

Platinum-based drugs are the largest class of chemotherapy drugs, and yes, they are expensive. But so are the radiation treatments (radiologists, brain surgeons, physicists, and expensive equipment), hospital stays, oncologist consults, radiology studies (MRI, CT, PET), heroic surgeries, marrow stimulants, chemo symptom management, and probably about 100 other things I'm forgetting right now. And battles with cancer can last several years.

Treating cancer is extremely expensive. Nobody is going to bat an eyelash at a treatment that employs precious metals, especially if it works well and quickly.

Re:even if it works... (1)

jsfs (1329511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36900220)

Most current cancer treatments already cost as much or more than the equivalent weights of precious metals. My mom's IV stuff alone was over $24,000 per bag, and there were a lot of bags. And anything that keeps the incredibly toxic substances away from your body is a plus. The chemo stuff is seriously harsh on people.

Gold prices have never been higher... (0)

PinchDuck (199974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888038)

Cash in your tumors now! Tired of those old cancers lingering in your body, trying to kill you and wreck your life? Just zap those tumors with our finely-tuned X-rays, and send the biopsy to us for instant cash. Contact our website, and we'll send you a free postage-paid bio-hazard bag. What could be easier? With the price of gold skyrocketing every day, you'll take up smoking just to get in on this great offer!

woah hold your horses (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36888090)

They seem to be oblivious to the fact that any benign tissue between the source and target will still be affected by the traversing x-rays.

Kudos to astronomers doing quantum mechanical numerical analysis though. Anil Pradham & Sultana Nahar are wasting their talents peeping into telescopes all day.

Re:woah hold your horses (2)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888140)

They're not oblivious to that fact. That's the whole point. The aim is to get more effective therapy with lower doses of X-rays.
If this plasma method only requires half the X-rays for the same effect, you will affect the healthy tissue 50% less.

Re:woah hold your horses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36889988)

Depends. Photons can't just be absorbed by any old material, it has to be something that absorbs the specific frequency involved. X-Rays are good in that synchotron rings can generate very pure frequencies and very controlled amounts.

If they're going to use metals like gold, which really doesn't occur a whole lot in your average healthy cell, then the chances of inadvertant absorption should be quite low.

I still favour the idea of lower frequencies that affect molecules rather than atomic nuclei, but that isn't going to happen.

ultrasonic heating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36888174)

I saw a BBC television segment where they showed a Chinese ultrasound machine that is able to focus it's energy and destroy cells by high temperature (in case this x-ray/precious metal offer don't appeal to your treatment preferences).

pptpdftargz? (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888688)

>"prototype device capable of generating x-rays (gzipped PDF)"

A file that is actually a PDF (which is already compressed) that is a SINGLE FILE that is tarred but named with "ppt" in it, and stuffed into a useless subdirectory called "FB01" and then gzipped??? Um.... yeesh.

I envision a near future... (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#36888732)

... when tumors infused with gold nanoparticles are the new chic for all the homeboys. Gold teeth are so yesterday, bro!

Accumulate Naturally? (1)

plastiqueman (1255936) | more than 3 years ago | (#36899720)

As a PhD candidate who works with noble metal nanoparticles on a daily basis, I have some issues with their work.

1. How do they plan to get the particles to "naturally" accumulate in tumors without some sort of surface coating; specifically one incorporating some sort of tumor sensing molecule?

2. If the nanoparticle is coated with some other molecule, do they still expect "low-energy" electrons to punch through without trouble? How low is "low-energy" anyway? In my experience, when dodecanethiol is attached to a nanoparticle surface (which is very common as a generic molecule for the synthesis work) 200 KeV electrons have no problem punching through, but this coating is much less transparent to a 40-80 KeV electron beam.

3. How well do these particles absorb x-rays anyway? The surface plasmon resonance peak (i.e. the wavelength of EM radiation that it preferentially absorbs) typically occurs in the 300-800 nm range for these (noble metal) nanoparticles. If there isn't a great absorption peak here, how much adjacent tissue are we cooking?

It just seems preliminary to elevate this to "treatment" status when the article really doesn't do much to inspire confidence in the work.

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