The conventional wisdom has it that there’s no silver bullet for treating cancer; the disease has too many forms for a one-size-fits-all solution. But there may be, if a recent pre-clinical animal study holds true, a gold bullet.The findings come from cell biologist Dmitri Lapotko, who leads a Rice University lab called The Nanobubble Lab.
Lapotko has found that when colloidal gold nanoparticles inside the body meet with a quick zap from a near-infrared laser, they burst and create a short-lived bubble that can blow up the cells around it. These hollow nanoparticles could be the golden bullet to target cancer. In a newly published study focused on notoriously hard-to-treat head and neck cancers, the conventional cocktail of chemotherapy and radiation was 17 times more potent when combined with nanoshells tagged with cancer-specific antibodies that cause them to cluster inside cancer cells.