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A decisive weapon for curing cancer?


1. What is cancer

7. treatments for cancer

12. Process

13. Is Nanotechnology Now in Use?

10. Timeline of discoveries

2. Types of tumors

3. cell characteristics

8. Their harmful effects

4. types of cancers

9. nature of nanotechnologies

6. Diagnosis of Cancer

11. How Does Nanotechnology Treat Cancer?

how is nanothechnology helpful in treating Cancer?

what is cancer?

We all know that the cells in our body continuously divide. Cell division occurs for various reasons ranging from growth and development to repair. However, the process happens in an orderly manner. Now if the cells lose control over their division process, then the uncontrolled division can lead to formation of lumps of outrageous cells. Cancer is a desorder which develops when the cells in our body grow out of control, creating a cell mass. This mass of cells is known as tumor.

Types of tumors

Every tumor is not cancerous. It's depending upon whether it is capable of invading other tissues and cause harm, or it can silently remain at one place without harming other cells in the vicinity .

A tumor is classified in two major types: These calm, harmless and non-concerous tumors are called Benighn tumors. On the other hand, malignant tumors are concerous their aggressive nature helps the tumor cells to derive nutrients from other surrounding healthy cells. As a result,
The healthy cells die and this gives the tumor cells an opportunity to grow even faster.


  • Well-differentiated Cells
  • Encapsulated
  • Usually not life-threatening
  • do not spread
  • slow growth


  • Undifferentiated Cells
  • Non-encapsulated
  • Life-threatening
  • Capable of spreading
  • Cells are non-functional
  • Cells differ in size and shape



Types of cancers

Carcinomas are cancers of epithelial tissues that means, carcinomas are developed in the skin and tissue lining of the organs like prostate, breast, colon, pancreas, lungs and so on.


Sarcomas these types arise in the connective tissues like bone cells, cartilage, muscles and other soft tissues in the body.


Lymphomas, as the name suggests, are the cancers that develop in lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cells. On the other hand cancers which result in an abnormal amount of blood cells like blood cancer.


Among the several types of cancer studied today, we will mainly focus on three major types : carcinomas, sarcoma, leukemias and lymphomas.

Diagnosis of cancer

For diagnosis various tests are performed on the patients:
Imaging techniques like : x-ray
Computer tomography
Magnetic resonance imaging
Pet CT Scan and many more are performed.
These imaging techniques give the medical examiner an idea of the size, shape and location of a particular tumor or multiple tumors inside the body
Similarly, blood tests can be done to find out the different types of blood cancers.

Treatments for cancer

Surgeries are performed to remove the tumor from the body.
In chemotherapy, various drugs which inhibit the growth of growing cells in the body are used.
Since these drugs kill the growing cells, all the aggressively growing cancer cells get killed with different doses.
Radiotherapy focuses on destroying tumor cells using different radiations.
High doses of radiation are used to kill or shrink tumor cells.

their harmful effects

Chemotherapy is currently the most effective and widespread treatment. The problem is that it delivers substances into the body that destroy cancer cells by considerably weakening the body.This is where research on nanotechnology could change everything, by making it possible to address drugs directly to infected cells, via a vectorization process. The treatment gains in efficiency and above all, the patient does not suffer from the side effects induced by conventional chemotherapy.

Pain and fatigue or frequent urination.

Mouth problems, nausea and vomiting.

Dietary issues, and hair, skin and nail problems.

typical side effects of current treatments

Anemia (low red blood cell counts ) and weight change.

Hair loss, weakness and appetite changes.

Easy bruiding and bleeding , loss of bone mass

nature of nanotechnologies

Significantly, in recent years nanotechnologies have been applied to human health with promising results, especially in the field of cancer treatment. To understand the nature of nanotechnology, it is helpful to review the timeline of discoveries.
Nanoscience and technology is the branch of science that studies systems and manipulates matter on atomic, molecular and supramolecular scales (the nanometre scale).

TIMELINE of discoveries

World’s smallest tic-tac-toe game board made with DNA.


IBM (Development of an ultra-fast lithography to create 3D nanoscale textured surface)


Nadrian Seeman (DNA structures fold into 3D rhombohedral crystals).



Naomi Halas (Development of gold nanoshells).


Paul Rothemund (DNA origami).

How Does Nanotechnology Treat Cancer?

In medicine, certainly in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Nanoparticles are known as contrast agents and could be very useful in identifying tumors in specific areas of the body or in monitoring the direction of tumor cells. Nanotechnology can help to make cancer treatments safer and more precise. Specially designed nanoparticles deliver medicines like chemotherapy straight to the tumor.This stops the drugs from damaging healthy tissues around the tumor.


The process consist of injecting gold particles into the patient's blood. These nanoparticles will selectively bind cancer cells. Then, laser light is applied at a precise frequency to the nanoparticles , which heats them up. This heating creates irreversible damage to the tumor cells . Thanks to this type of treatment it's possible to reach the sensitive areas (neck, brain, lungs)


Researchers are using nanoparticles as a mini delivery vehicule. This vehicule will allow more of the therapy whether it be a drug , gene or an antibody to reach the side of the tymor more efficiently. Gold nanoparticles deliver drugs to cancer cells. After the laser is heated, the nanoparticles release their drug content. They are also using nanoparticles to activate immune cells , This treatment would be similar to how a vaccine whould work.

The transport of therapeutic molecules

Finally, gold nanoparticles are the main target of researchers to aid in radiotherapy. The photothermal effect is a phenomenon associated with electromagnetic radiation bombarding cancer cells with ionizing rays to destroy their DNA. Gold nanoparticles double the effect of ionizing radiation by accumulating on target cells to improve the effect of radiotherapy.

gold nanoparticles

Is Nanotechnology Now in Use?

nanotechnology to treat cancer for more than a decade. Two approved treatments -- Abraxane and Doxil -- help chemotherapy drugs work better.
Abraxane is a nanoparticle made from the protein albumin attached to the chemo drug docetaxel. It stops cancer cells from dividing. Abraxane treats breast and pancreatic cancers that have spread, and non-small-cell lung cancer.
Doxil is the chemo drug doxorubicin wrapped inside a liposome, a fatty sac. It disrupts cancer genes so the cancer cells can't divide. Doxil treats ovarian cancers, multiple myeloma, and Kaposi's sarcoma.

If we can reduce the cost and improve the quality of medical technology through advances in Nanotechnology, we can more widely address the medical conditions that are prevelant and reduce the level of human suffering.

Johns Hopkins Institute for NanoBioTechnology


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