Scientists in Taiwan have demonstrated a more effective approach to treat cancer using multifunctional nanoparticle. The particles simultaneously attack tumours with chemotherapy and photothermal therapy as well as allowing their position and size to be ascertained.
While metal nanoparticles have been shown to kill tumour cells when irradiated with light from a laser, the limited size of the laser beam spot can mean that some cancerous cells are missed. Combining chemotherapy with phototherapy could be a promising approach to overcome this disadvantage. Now, Chen-Sheng Yeh at the National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, and colleagues have made nanoparticles that deliver the anticancer drug Taxol and also contain gold for phototherapy.