Researchers at the University of Manchester have developed liposomes – tiny bubbles made out of the same material as cell membranes – to destroy malignant tumours.
The researchers fitted the liposomes with heat-activated triggers that explode when they reach the cancer cell.
They say it works best with tumours growing in organ tissue so breast, prostate and ovarian cancer have been identified as good staring points.
Kostas Kostarelos, study author and professor of nanomedicine at the University of Manchester, told the Sunday Express that the heat activated trigger only releases the drugs when they reach the right cancer cells previously warmed up.
“Without heat activation, the liposomes do not release all of the drug at the required point, so the doctor has to administer far higher doses of the drug than actually benefits the patient,’’ he said.
“By using heat activation, these nano-particles will break open and release all of the drug where it is needed, making them far more effective with a lower dose.”
Now that the research has been completed, Professor Kostarelos is hoping to start clinical trials.
However, he concedes it could take up to a decade to bring the product to market.