The central goal of finding safer and more effective treatments for cancer is to kill healthy cells without damage,media reported. Now, scientists have come up with a treatment that can rely on household items. The team’s new nanoparticles, like Trojan horses, dive ions into cancer cells and destroy them, while demonstrating some potential as a vaccine against recurrence.
The new anti-cancer weapon, sodium chloride nanoparticles (SCNPs), or salts, is known to have been developed by researchers at the University of Georgia, who use cancer cells to function against sodium ions. Cell membranes play a vital role as a gatekeeper in maintaining low sodium concentrations and extracellular high sodium concentrations.
This balance is critical to the health of cancer cells, giving scientists a good chance to intervene through change. SCNPs are able to disguise the sodium ions they carry so they are not identified by the membrane, but when they enter the cell membrane they create chaos there.
Once inside the cancer cells, they dissolve into millions of sodium and chloride ions, which can destroy the cell’s defenses and eventually break the cell membrane. This not only induces cell death, but also allows molecules to leak into the body, triggering an immune response and further repelpathogening pathogens.
“In fact, this mechanism is more toxic to cancer cells than normal cells because cancer cells start with relatively high sodium concentrations,” said Jin Xie, an associate professor of chemistry at the University of Georgia.
Compared to the control group, the tumor growth of cancerous mice injected with SNCPs was inhibited by 66%, and the process did not have any side effects on the major organs. The scientists also tested them as a vaccine, injecting SCNPs into mice that had killed cancer cells. The mice showed “stronger resistance” to another cancer cell challenge, and they did not develop tumors for more than two weeks.
Happily, when SCNPs degrade, it becomes salt, which means it is harmless to humans. As further work unfolds, the technology could lead to more effective treatments with far fewer side effects on a range of cancers.
“This technique is ideal for local destruction of cancer cells,” Xie said. “
The study was published in Advanced Materials.