Cancer Research: New Nanotechnology Targets Tumor Cells Without Toxic Chemo Side Effects
In 2013, Dr. Rafael Hof created New Phase, an Israeli start-up that aimed to develop and commercialize cancer treatments after dealing with his own mother’s fight with cancer. With New Phase, Hof developed new nanotechnology that manipulated two characteristics of cancer to target tumor cells in the body. First, tumors consume exponentially more glucose than normal cells due to increased rates of cellular metabolism, and tumor membranes will burst at temperatures above 46 degrees Celsius.
The Sarah Nanoparticle, named after Hof’s mother, is engineered to contain glucose which acts a homing signal to navigate and attach to tumor cells. When exposed to radio frequencies at 13.56 Mhz, which is not harmful to humans, the SarahNP undergoes a phase change to 50 degrees Celsius. When homed to tumor cells, the attached nanoparticle will cause lysis of only the tumor cell. The Sarah Nanoparticle introduces the possibility of treating cancer without the widespread damage to healthy tissue, or development of chemo-resistant cancers as seen with traditional therapies.
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