Cancer is one of those dreaded diseases that can be deadly if not treated immediately. Cancer is a disease caused by abnormal growth of body tissue cells that turn into cancer cells, which can spread to other parts of the body and cause death in its development. Furthermore, there currently are more than 200 different known types of cancer with various symptoms.
However, South Korea has a new technique in detecting cancer through blood samples. A study team led by Cho Young-koo of South korean National Cancer Center has detected and isolated circulating tumor cells (CTC) in blood samples from patients with early-stage breast cancer. This finding was published in Biomaterials journal which can be useful for future cancer treatments for patients.
CTC test has been recognized as a dependable test to diagnose cancer. However, CTC monitoring is currently only available for advanced cancer patients and not for patients with early stage cancer, so the researchers have developed a method of using magnetic nano-wires to help efficiently isolate and detect CTC in blood of patients with early stage cancer.
In addition, Korea has also developed advanced technology used for cancer treatment. A team of Korean researchers has discovered a form of nanostructure with potential to be used for cancer treatment. The research team together with Yonsei University College of Medicine and Ewha Women Universiti collected phthalocyanine (PcS) photosensitizers with anticancer drugs mitoxantrone (MA) to form uniform nanostructures (PcS-MA). When nanostructures were injected into laboratory mice with breast cancer, more than 80% of cancer cells were destroyed.
The Pcs_MA nanostructure can be used as an “interesting strategy to overcome the limitations of photodynamic cancer therapy.” Photodynamic cancer therapy, also known as “radiation therapy,” is commonly used to remove the remaining cancer cells after surgery, but cancer cells with lack of oxygen can survive through this treatment. One of the research team’s leaders, professor Nam Ki-taek, said that nanostructures would require further experiments to reaffirm their own anticancer effects and test whether the drugs reaffirm their anticancer effects and test if they could be applied to large types of cancers.