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Cancer Channel
Reported April 10, 2006

Nanoparticles for Prostate Cancer

By Julie Marks, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

PARIS (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Researchers at the 21st Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology in Paris report exciting findings on the use of magnetic nanoparticles for patients with prostate cancer.

Scientists know thermotherapy using biocompatible magnetic nanoparticles inhibits prostate cancer growth in mice. Now, however, researchers are using the novel therapy in humans with the disease.

The new therapy is one of the first applications of nanotechnology in medicine and involves the heating of nanoparticles in a magnetic field. With the technique, it is possible to heat up almost every region of the body within very small ranges.

Investigators in Germany used the therapy on nine patients with locally recurrent prostate cancer. The patients had six weekly thermotherapy sessions that lasted 60 minutes each. Treatments were delivered using the first AC magnetic field applicator for use in humans.

Study results show the nanoparticles were retained in the prostate for several months. No toxic side effects were observed. Seven of the nine patients experienced a moderate decline in PSA levels.

"Interstitial heating using magnetic nanoparticles was feasible in patients with previously irradiated and locally recurrent prostate cancer," study authors say. "Further optimism will focus on intraprostatic nanoparticle distribution and patient tolerance at higher magnetic field strengths. In the future, this treatment modality may be suitable for combination with irradiation in patients with localized prostate cancer."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: /newsalert/.

SOURCE: The 21st Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology in Paris, April 5-8, 2006

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