Reducing Toxic Side Effects

Nanotechnolgy using palladium may reduce chemotherapy toxicity

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) The miseries of chemotherapy - such as nausea, hair loss and weakness - may soon be a thing of the past. A new technology being studied may minimize these toxic side effects.

Nanotechnology is being studied as a means of precisely delivering the medicine needed to kill cancer cells, while protecting healthy cells. The technology uses microscopic balls called microspheres that contain palladium, which acts like a catalyst. It activates the drugs while avoiding the toxicity.

"Microscopic particles containing palladium may make chemotherapy less toxic."

Researchers at the University of Granada and Edimbourgh have used nanotechnoloty to develop this promising new therapy.

The metal palladium that's used in this therapy isn't found in human cells. Palladium helps the medicines work without harming or altering other cell functions such as metabolism.

The authors explains the method essentially "creates" the anti-cancer drugs within the cells.

This technology, which is still be investigated, could be used to treat a number of different tumors while alleviating the common miseries associated with chemotherapy.

The study is published in the journal Nature Chemistry.

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Review Date: 
July 21, 2011
Last Updated:
July 22, 2011