Due to the toxic effects of conventional chemotherapy and radiation on both malignant and healthy cells, scientists continue researching and developing safer ways to combat cancer. One of the methods involves the use of nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are synthetically produced microscopic particles that may be created in a variety of shapes and sizes no larger than a virus. Here is how these special particles may help Albuquerque caregivers better care for their senior loved ones.

To treat cancer, these particles are filled with an anti-cancer medication, are camouflaged, and are then injected into the body where they eventually come in contact with a tumor. Depending on the size of the nanoparticle, the laboratory creation may be too small to penetrate healthy vascular tissues. However, given the abnormally large blood vessels that supply tumors, the nanoparticles easily enter, dissolve and release the medication into the target. Though nanoparticles may contact healthy cells, there is a greater likelihood of directly affecting the cancer while keeping damage to non-cancerous cells to a minimum. 

One of the nanoparticle delivery systems received FDA approval and contains doxorubicin. The cancer medication is commonly used to combat leukemia and various types of cancer including malignancies that develop in the head, breasts, lungs, and gastrointestinal or reproductive systems. The medication is surrounded by a liposome coating contained within a methoxy polyethylene glycol capsule. The self-contained delivery system successfully avoids antibody attack and delivers up to 90 percent of the medication to the desired target. 

Researchers developed and received approval of a medication using common viruses to disrupt skin and lymph tumor cell processes that encourage cell death. However, a team of researchers from John Hopkins developed a nanoparticle system that harbors DNA from herpes simplex 1 in combination with the cancer medication known as ganciclovir. When exposed to malignant glioma, the technology killed 100 percent of the brain cancer cells. Scientists have also developed the means to open the protective blood brain barrier using bursts of ultrasound, which enables nanoparticles to pass unaffected into the brain and to the target tissue and making this treatment more effective.

While these treatments are still undergoing evaluations, seniors with cancer are not without help. Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque is a leading provider of flexible live-in and hourly home care that encourages senior health and wellbeing in the comfort of home. No matter what level of care your loved one requires, we are available 24/7 to meet each client’s individual needs. Whether your loved one needs help with personal care or medication reminders, our dedicated caregivers are readily available. Contact us today at 505-798-0800 to learn more about our services and schedule a no-obligation consultation.

Published On: March 16th, 2016 / Categories: Senior Health /