Researchers from Shanghai Institute of Ceramics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the East China Normal University have reported in journal Nature Nanotechnology on a new technique of blocking cappilaries that feed oxygen and nutrients to tumors, essentially suffocating and starving them at the same time. The researchers developed nanoparticles made of polymer-modified magnesium silicide (Mg2Si). When these find themselves within the acidity of tumors, they react and the magnesium silicide produces silane. Silane is a deoxygenation agent, an oxygen scavenger that reacts with oxygen in blood and tissues to produce clumps of silicon oxide. These clumps get large enough and tough enough to block capillaries, blocking a tumor’s access to what it needs to survive.
This has only been tested in a laboratory environment, but the idea sounds novel and promising, and we look forward to seeing it develop along a path toward clinical trials.
Study in Nature Nanotechnology: Magnesium silicide nanoparticles as a deoxygenation agent for cancer starvation therapy…
(hat tip: PhysOrg)