Some of the first forays into nanomedicine are looking pretty exciting. In an experiment with human liver cells, nanotubes inserted into cancer cells in vitro and heated up by radiofrequency fields have succeeded in eliminating the tumors completely. Progress in developing the therapy depends on targeting the nanotubes to hit just cancer cells within a living organism. Investigators are currently testing monoclonal antibodies, peptides, and other potential delivery vehicles for this purpose.
After decades of having no choice but to deliver treatments like chemotherapy and radiation that can’t be targeted specifically at cancer cells, and having patients suffering a raft of unpleasant side effects, doctors must be pretty excited to think the day will soon come that they don’t have to punish their patients with the treatment on top of what they’re already suffering with the disease.