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Gold Beads Can Fight Cancer, Too

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the au-cut-that-out dept.

Biotech 27

descil writes "In addition to the Reovirus story posted earlier, Health Central reports that nanoscopic gold-coated beads can be used to kill cancerous cells, while leaving other tissues undamaged. The researchers tested their technique on human breast cancer cells and on cancerous tumors grown on mice. In each case, the combination of nanoshells and near-infrared light caused irreversible heat damage to tumor cells while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed."

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tsarkon reports on lots of things. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391974)

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tsarkon reports on gold ANAL beads help yoda dolls (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7391984)

all youn sladotian faggots need the golden anal beads to fight the colon cancer caused by reaming yourself with yoda dolls, even greased yoda dolls and yoda soap on a rope in the ass so much. you fucking pigs.

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Comparison (3, Interesting)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7392003)

Looks like the two methods are about the same effectiveness (though the reovirus has been tested in more types of cancer) - but which one is cheaper? I'd wager the one that doesn't involve gold, and is self-replicating.

Re:Comparison (3, Interesting)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#7392080)

The amount of gold they're talking about is probably less than the amount in a computer. Nanoscopic gold isn't that incredibly expensive.

(Warning: I did not RTFA.)

cost comparision (2, Insightful)

tid242 (540756) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394625)

but which one is cheaper? I'd wager the one that doesn't involve gold, and is self-replicating.

i can think of quite a few drugs off the top of my head that cost (i'd say 'worth' but that's relative) a hell of a lot more than gold by weight, most of these are biotech/monoclonal_antibody type compounds, you might have heard of some of them, venomous snake antivenons are probably the most well known.

It's also probably a lot easier to get an ounce of gold from the depths of South African hell than it is to conduct all of the necessary bench science, phase I,II, and III clinical trials, and navigate the US FDA regulatory process. Probably a lot cheaper too.

-tid242

Re:cost comparision (1)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 10 years ago | (#7399093)

Indeed; my son was born prematurely and so is suseptible to RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus). Each month he receives a 150mg Synagis shot, and each shot is $1000. I'll let you do the math, but I believe that makes Synagis much more expensive than the current price of gold on the spot market.

Prostate cancer... (0)

Uberdog (73274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7392071)

...will never be the same.

Re:Prostate cancer... (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 10 years ago | (#7397472)

Dude, you so deserved a +5 Funny. Even if I was about to make the same joke.

Re:Prostate cancer... (0)

maxconsulting (713844) | more than 10 years ago | (#7398252)

the joke disappeared...let me guess: something about anal love beads?

Medical equivalent of walking on the moon... (3, Insightful)

bluethundr (562578) | more than 10 years ago | (#7392223)

Colloquially, the phrase "cure for cancer" is meant to say "he/she can do the impossible". Conversely, the phrase "if we can go to the moon, why can't we do 'x'..." is meant to imply that we can do anything, because what's more impossible than a man walking on the moon? Well, today there may be cause to celebrate what may be the medical equivalent of "walking on the moon".

Re:Medical equivalent of walking on the moon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7394207)

How about we change that to "walking on the sun"? I doubt that will be happening during our lifetimes.

Re:Medical equivalent of walking on the moon... (1)

bluethundr (562578) | more than 10 years ago | (#7395536)

How about we change that to "walking on the sun"? I doubt that will be happening during our lifetimes.

Except that walking on the sun is definitely NOT something that will EVER happen. Period. Curing cancer is something that may or may not happen in our lifetimes. But saying that Cancer will NEVER be cured is like insisting that the world is flat (and there are some morons who even do THAT [flat-earth.org] ).

Sorry to disappoint you Karnak [papineaufamily.com] , but your analogy is about as useful as a chocolate teapot! [alchemy3dc.co.uk]

Re:Medical equivalent of walking on the moon... (1)

XNormal (8617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7397973)

May I remind you that in 40 days it will be the 31st anniversary of the last man to walk on the moon?

Re:Medical equivalent of walking on the moon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7398111)

May I remind you that in 40 days it will be the 31st anniversary of the last man to walk on the moon?

You're missing the point. The point is that man did walk on the moon. It happened. The cure for Cancer has not happened yet. Comprende?

This is wonderful news! (-1, Flamebait)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 10 years ago | (#7392249)

I'll just make bracelets out of gold beads and sell them to cancer patients for 10 times my cost. I'm sure I can convince plenty of people that "nanoscopic" means a quarter of an inch in diameter.

Hell, I doubt anyone will notice if I just sell them brass beads. I'm going to be rich!

Re:This is wonderful news! (1)

Nucleon500 (628631) | more than 10 years ago | (#7403539)

I don't see why this is flamebait. There is a lot of money to be made by selling pseudo-scientific alternative medicine crap to people, including in bracelet [acemagnetics.com] form [balancebracelet.com] . The first link sells bracelets with "a minimum of six neodymium north facing unipole & permanent (1500 gauss) magnets." The second link is almost what the parent describes - it has two quarter-inch gold-plated balls ("terminals") and sells for $80 to $130. The point is, there's no limit to what you can sell to stupid people, and it's a pity this can get in the way of real research.

Re:This is wonderful news! (1)

c.emmertfoster (577356) | more than 10 years ago | (#7405523)

I don't see why this is flamebait.

Agreed. It's really just a joke in somewhat poor taste, although those are usually the best ones.

While I'm here, you left out my favorite crank: Alex Chiu [alexchiu.com] !

Somewhat misleading article (4, Informative)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7392261)

The article makes it sound like IR-illuminated nanoshells in normal tissue would not cause damage. But this is untrue. The nanoshells must somehow be delivered to the tumor where IR-illumination makes them hot and kills all the neighboring cells.

The nanoshells are a good idea, but they do rely on some antibody/target/delivery mechanism to get the nanoshells into the right place. If the nanoshells migrate into the wrong location, they will kill healthy tissue.

BTW, there are other cancer therapies based on migrate-and-kill strategies. Some use chemicals that are preferentially taken up by cancer cells that can be made extremely toxic when exposed to light.

the mechanism. (1)

tid242 (540756) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394604)

i would suspect that these nanoparticles are just injected and they accumulate in tumor tissue due to blood-vessel irregularities specific to cancerous tissue.


Since tumors are lumps of fairly uncontrolled and uncordinated growth, and are also highly angioneogenic (blood vessel formation promoting) the capillary formations within tomors are also highly uncontrolled and uncordinated, which leads to different circulatory/flow patterns inside these tissue masses than normal healthy tissue.


There has already been a fair amount of research to exploit this principle, i think in the past with toxins such as cyanide derivitives and the like, although i question the actual clinical usage of such approaches, probably a worthwhile therapy, but no panacea nor cure by any means.


The main problem with cancer (and i use the term cancer very loosly) is that tumor biology and selection are intricate as well as extreme, if we develop a therapy that targets a certain trait (such as capillary formations in 'normal' tumors) it generally doesn't take a whole lot of time for the cancers to change in ways rendering them unaffected by therapies which target this trait. In this case possibly differing tumor characteristics (size, morphology, et al)...


Unfortunately we've still got a long way to go with cancer...


-tid242

Re:the mechanism. (1)

tolan's my name (234431) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394661)

"Unfortunately we've still got a long way to go with cancer..."

This is a little like saying we've got a long way to go until imortality.

As for the notion that cancers will 'evolve' away from treatments, surely not. Yes as more cancers are cured / bypassed & life expectancy increases the relative prevalence of the more esoteric cancers will grow, but cancers do not 'evolve', at least not in the usual sense we apply to say viruses, which are subject to selective pressure and inevitabaly will adapt / evolve to be resistant to treatments.

Actually maybe not inevitable, if we could find reatments that nullified the health effects of a virus hilst somehow encouraging its reproduction and transmision then they would become more suceptible to the treatment - seems unlikely tho.

Re:the mechanism. (1)

tid242 (540756) | more than 10 years ago | (#7406352)

As for the notion that cancers will 'evolve' away from treatments, surely not. Yes as more cancers are cured / bypassed & life expectancy increases the relative prevalence of the more esoteric cancers will grow, but cancers do not 'evolve', at least not in the usual sense we apply to say viruses, which are subject to selective pressure and inevitabaly will adapt / evolve to be resistant to treatments.

you're right that cancers don't evolve like other lifeforms floating about the planet, as they're in their own microworld, but cancers do evolve significantly in the individual which can be supported not only by the theory of initiation, promotion, progression, metastaisis (many in the field believe that the malignant cells in the final stages of cancer are virtually indistinguishable from those in early stages), but also in what is known and observed with cell evolution within tumors (a large part of tumor biology), as well as individuals failing specific treatments (hormone abolation in prostate cancer is a prime example). So yes cancers do evolve, but since one cannot contract cancer (in the traditional contageon theory anyway) from someone else, they don't evolve on the macro-level so oft thought of when one speaks of evolution.

:)

-tid242

Re:Somewhat misleading article (2, Insightful)

Eccles (932) | more than 10 years ago | (#7397916)

If the nanoshells migrate into the wrong location, they will kill healthy tissue.

Aside from the greater likelihood that they will accumulate in the cancerous tissue, remember the nanshells do little or nothing on their own. They require heating to kill tissue, and the surgeons will be aiming their IR at the target area. Healthy tissue will only be killed if it has the nanoshells and is in the IR beam path.

You could also use a multiple beam approach, where healthy tissue around the tumor only receives one beam, the target area several, and thus the healthy tissue may not receive a fatal amount.

whoa guess I should've submitted this earlier! (3, Insightful)

snooo53 (663796) | more than 10 years ago | (#7392925)

Includes a link to the CNN story.

my original comment to the ealier story [slashdot.org]

Great! (1)

eMartin (210973) | more than 10 years ago | (#7394098)

Looks like I picked the wrong day to quit smoking.

It looks like... (1)

camelrider (46141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7395404)

Mr. T is safe from lung cancer.

Less risky then the virus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7399941)

I think I would prefer this to the virus "cure" that was reported earlier. Virii make me nervous, it seems to me that a stray bit of radiation or chemo (since they are cancer patients) could cause the virii to mutate into something harmful and then propagate throughout the body, possibly destroying healthy cells. And if these "beads" went places they weren't supposed to go then you could simpily not point the IR gun any where else. Perhaps I am just jumping at shadows but I don't claim to know much biology.
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