Thursday, March 5, 2009


United States Patent Application 20090062785
Kind Code A1
Harrison, JR.; Roger G. ; et al. March 5, 2009


The present invention is a method for detecting and destroying cancer tumors. The method is based on the concept of associating a linking protein or linking peptide such as, but not limited to, annexin V or other annexins to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) to form a protein-SWNT complex. Said linking protein or peptide can selectively bind to cancerous cells, especially tumor vasculature endothelial cells, rather than to healthy ones by binding to cancer-specific external receptors such as anionic phospholipids including phosphatidylserine expressed on the outer surfaces of cancer cells only. Irradiation of bound SWNTs with one or more specific electromagnetic wavelengths is then used to detect and destroy those cells to which the SWNTs are bound via the linking protein or peptide thereby destroying the tumor or cancer cells and preferably an immunostimulant is provided to the patient to enhance the immune response against antigens released from the tumor or cancer cells.

Inventors: Harrison, JR.; Roger G.; (Norman, OK) ; Resasco; Daniel E.; (Norman, OK)

1. A method of treating a cancer tumor or cancer cells in a patient, comprising:providing a composition comprising a protein-carbon nanotube complex comprising a protein or peptide operatively attached to a carbon nanotube, wherein the protein or peptide of the protein-carbon nanotube complex comprises a binding protein or peptide that has binding specific for an external receptor or binding site on a tumor vasculature endothelial cell or on a cancer cell;

administering the composition comprising the protein-carbon nanotube complex to the patient wherein the protein-carbon nanotube complex preferentially binds via the binding protein or peptide to the external receptor or binding site on an outer surface of the endothelial cell of the tumor vasculature of the cancer tumor or on an outer surface of the cancer cell in the patient;

exposing the patient to electromagnetic radiation comprising a wavelength absorbable by the carbon nanotube causing elevation of the temperature of the carbon nanotube of the protein-carbon nanotube complex to a temperature which induces damage or death of the endothelial cell of the tumor vasculature or of the cancer cell to which the protein-carbon nanotube complex is bound; and

administering to the patient an immunostimulant to enhance the patient's immune response to antigens released from the cancer cells or tumor vasculature endothelial cells.

[Snip from Description]
[0027]After treatment with the protein-SWNT complex or peptide-SWNT complex of the present invention, the tumor having the SWNTs bound thereto is then selectively exposed to electromagnetic radiation, for example, radio frequency radiation, near-infrared (NIR) radiation, visible light, or UV radiation. The energy level of NIR radiation can be adjusted to give excessive local heating of SWNTs but not otherwise affect biological systems which are not associated to the SWNTs (12). This excessive local heating of the SWNTs bound to the surface of endothelial cells of the tumor vasculature or to surfaces of the cancer cells leads to the destruction of the tumor vasculature or of the cancer cells and thus to the death or inhibition of growth of the tumor or cancer cells. Without wishing to be held to theory, it is believed that the killing of the tumor is by a combination of heating and cutting off the tumor's blood supply. In order to avoid damage to normal blood vessels, it is advantageous to delay the NIR treatment (or treatment with other wavelengths) until there is clearing of free SWNTs from the bloodstream such that substantially the only SWNTs in the body are those bound to the tumor vasculature or cancerous cells. The free SWNTs should clear within a matter of hours after administration. For example, in a recent study (30) with rabbits, SWNTs were injected into the bloodstream, and the SWNT concentration decreased exponentially with a half-life of 1.0.+-.0.1 hour. No adverse effects from low-level SWNT exposure could be detected from behavior or pathological examination.


Resasco; Daniel E. is Chief Scientist and Founder of SouthWest NanoTechnologies, Inc. (SWeNT)

IP for Harrison; Roger G
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