Cancer screenings are a vital part of healthcare in the US, especially for men of a certain age. Colon cancer is a big killer, and it is important that the signs are quickly spotted before the disease can spread. At the moment, a colonoscopy is the best method for observing and removing growths.
However, it is far from ideal. New lab tests into nanotechnology have uncovered some impressive findings regarding gold binder and nanoshells. This could be the breakthrough needed for colon cancer screening.
There Is A Need For An Overhaul Of The Current System In Colon Screenings
There is no denying that colon screening is unpleasant experiences that many try to avoid. In fact, many men are avoiding the procedure and put themselves at great risk. Most screenings rely on colonoscopies.
This is where patients receive sedation and bowel preparation before doctors insert a camera into the colon via the rectum. It is an invasive procedure that requires time and care. The camera observes the walls and doctors can check for signs of depressions, growth, and polyps.
It requires vigilance and a sharp eye from the doctors. Some doctors may not be as thorough as others and may miss areas, especially if they rush.
Where Does Nanotechnology Come Into The Equation?
Nanotechnology is technology that works on a microscopic level to provide new solutions to key problems. The world of medicine is one where developers are keen to make significant progressions. The small-scale tech can transform the way we interact with the human body at the cell level.
It also provides a new way for doctors to administer drugs to those that need them. That is all essential when it comes to the development of screening processes and lab tests for cancers. Nanotech can improve upon current options. There is now the ability to identify cancerous and pre-cancerous cells more easily.
This is, in turn, will help to speed up detection times. The faster these cells are detected, the easier it is to remove problems and stop the spread of the disease. In addition to this, it is conceivable for this nanotech system to deliver cancer-killing drugs directly to those cancerous cells.
Key Research In Lab Tests At Stanford University And The University Of Buffalo Shows The Potential Of This Nanotechnology
Work at the Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at Stanford provides new insight into the potential of nanotechnology and nanoparticles for cancer detection. This lab, part of the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, is turning to gold. These gold nanoparticles bind to cancer cells to help them stand out under the lights of the colonoscopy cameras.
Elsewhere, the University of Buffalo and Roswell Park Cancer Institute are working together on new nanoshells. Nanoshells are an important part of these new microscopic drug delivery systems. It is a very simple silica-based nanoshell filled with effective substances and chemicals.
In this case, researchers use photosynthesizers. These elements are the light-sensitive molecule that releases oxygen in the presence of light. It is much like the photosynthesizing elements withing the leaves of plants. The nanoshells are carefully built to bind to cancer cells directly for a quick, simple delivery system.
This shell is then absorbed by the cancerous cells. The photosynthesizers will react to an artificial light source, produced via the colonoscopy instrument, to produce oxygen. This sudden, high level of oxygen should then kill the cancer cells.
This Is A Well-Designed, Non-Invasive Way To Improve Colon Screening And The Treatment Of Signs Of Cancer
There are clearly plenty of positive elements to this development in nanotechnology. Colonoscopies are unpleasant procedures that many men fail to undergo. This means missed diagnoses when a quick screening could make all the difference.
The rise of nanotechnology in this area can only make colonoscopies and be screening more efficient. In turn, this shifts the balance between the pros and cons of having the procedure. If screening becomes more effective, and the growths dealt with more easily, we could save more lives.
At the moment, this is all currently under trial through rigorous lab tests. There are high hopes for human trials shortly. If successful, these gold binders and nanoshells could have a major impact on colon screening, and cancer treatment more generally.
Tags: Lab Tests, Nanotechnology