Research conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, or UTHealth, has shown that gold nanoparticles can be used effectively for the treatment of prostate cancer. Clinical trials have shown favorable results with comparatively low side effects of using gold nanoparticles for the treatment of prostate cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), skin cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the U.S and the most common cause of deaths. Though prostate cancer is very common among people of United States these days, it is definitely treatable. The therapy shows the survival results are almost 100% when it is detected at an early stage. But survival rates drop to 29% when it spreads outside of the prostate or goes to lymph nodes, bones or other organs. Prostate cancer rates among men in India are considerably lower as compared to the US but prostate cancer is detected in India at a much later stage.
Prostate cancer treatment options include chemotherapy, cryotherapy, radiation therapy, or radical prostatectomy involving the removal of the entire prostate gland. The proposed gold nanoparticles therapy makes the use of nanoparticles in the shape of a sphere containing silica glass layers coated with a thin layer of gold.
On entering the body, the nanoparticles attach themselves to cancer cells and then enter the cancer cells. An external laser is then used to stimulate the nanoparticles. The laser vibrates the nanoparticles with high temperatures, killing the cancer cells in the process.
The advantage of this treatment is that it does not affect the surrounding healthy tissues and other important nerves. At the same time, it helps to avoid many side effects of cancer treatment like that of impotency or urinary problems. Not only this, the advanced technology reduces the time of treatment and recovery period as well.
While many treatments that are being successfully used to treat prostate cancer, side effects such as the loss of prostate functioning are a major problem. The new research showing the use of gold nanoparticles to treat cancer shows great promise.