Can nanoscience offer a "superweapon" for fighting cancer?

Video: Can Nanoscience Offer a “Superweapon” for Fighting Cancer?

Not all cancers are created equal. Some types of cancer, such as ovarian, stomach and pancreatic, can survive rounds of surgery and chemotherapy. Paula T. Hammond, Associate Editor of ACS Nano, calls these types of cancer “supervillains.” She says their persistence often stems from one of a number of genetic mutations. These mutations can confer a special ability, such as cells being able to reject medication before it can take effect. She argues we need new treatments to match these “superpowered” diseases. Hammond cites new research on  nanoparticles that can disable the genes that give cancers these abilities. Once their “superpowers” are deactivated, the cancer cells can be destroyed through conventional treatments.

Watch Hammond’s recent TED Talk, in which she explains how new nanoscience-based treatments are offering hope to patients suffering from persistent and aggressive diseases, such as ovarian cancer.

Paula T. Hammond is the Associate Editor of ACS Nano. She is also head of the Department of Chemical Engineering and David H. Koch Chair Professor in Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has published more than 250 scientific papers and holds more than 20 patents.

Discover more of Paula Hammond‘s cancer-focused research from the pages of ACS Nano:

Shooting for the Moon: Nanoscale Approaches to Cancer

ACS Nano, 2016, 10 (2), pp 1711–1713
DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b01095

Layer-by-Layer Assembled Antisense DNA Microsponge Particles for Efficient Delivery of Cancer Therapeutics

ACS Nano, 2014, 8 (10), pp 9767–9780
DOI: 10.1021/nn502596b

Layer-by-Layer Nanoparticles for Systemic Codelivery of an Anticancer Drug and siRNA for Potential Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Treatment

ACS Nano, 2013, 7 (11), pp 9571–9584
DOI: 10.1021/nn4047925

Bimodal Tumor-Targeting from Microenvironment Responsive Hyaluronan Layer-by-Layer (LbL) Nanoparticles

ACS Nano, 2014, 8 (8), pp 8374–8382
DOI: 10.1021/nn502861t


Layer-by-Layer Nanoparticles with a pH-Sheddable Layer for in Vivo Targeting of Tumor Hypoxia

ACS Nano, 2011, 5 (6), pp 4284–4292
DOI: 10.1021/nn200876f

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