Medicine enters the nano world

From Monash Magazine, February 2015:

Cancer chemotherapy is far from subtle. It effectively means carpet-bombing the body with a toxic regimen that kills cancer cells, but also obliterates a lot of healthy cells in the process. The ultimate hope with this approach is that the cancer surrenders before the patient does.

But what if cancer drugs could be delivered directly to a tumour or an affected organ, with minimal or no interaction with any other cells in the body? And what if, at the same time, doctors could watch the interaction between drug and target in real time, enabling them to observe the impact of the treatment and immediately adjust their therapeutic approach in response?

This is the vision of nanomedicine – an emerging field that is uniting biologists, pharmacists and materials scientists in the fight to overcome what has been one of the biggest issues in cancer therapeutics: how to kill the cancer without killing the patient. Read more.

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