Opportunities for cancer nanotechnology

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Today’s generation has numerous people living with all kinds of cancer breast cancer, leukemia, throat cancer among other kinds of cancer. There are several treatments for cancer including chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and treatment to kill the cancer cells but they do have serious long-term side effects on the patient’s body. This side effect together with the cancer in a human body causes a weak system. Some of these last effects include, mouth ulcers, hair loss, appetite loss, digestive problems, low concentration and memory problems, heart conditions among other conditions. Aside from the side effects, these cancer treatments always cause patients hefty payments. Now patients have to live with a financial and health problem through most of their lives (Seyfried 2012).

Background of the Research

However, there is one popular area of research known as nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is a research with use of gold nanoparticles to carry anti cancer drugs straight to the cancer cells. The dye in these particles does not affect the normal white blood cells which a safe method of treatment. The research has already conferred new detection techniques for cancer, cheaper and faster ways to invade the cancer cells. This technology is a kind of treatment that has fewer side effects in comparison to methods such as chemotherapy. Nanotechnology can help reduce the problem of treatments with severe side effects. This is a proposal for the approval of cancer nanotechnology as a form of cancer treatment (Seyfried 2012).

An example of treatment for cancer by nanotechnology is carbon nanotubes for colorectal cancer and breast cancer (Prasad 2012). The use of nanotechnology aids in the delivery of chemotherapeutics to cancerous cells in the breast cancer and kills them. The research has come up with a novel drug distribution system for multi resistant cancers such as cancer of the bladder. The main aim being to overcome the resistance of drugs by the cancers that are much developed. This form of treatment involves delivery of chemotherapeutics through a membrane that is photodynamic in nature. Through light, the chemotherapeutics are activated causing rapture of the membrane thus attacking the targeted cells. Nanotechnology is also developing a regenerative medicine for the small intestines, which is non polymer with the aim of engineering tissues in the bowel structure (Cataldo & Daros 2008).

Hypothesis of the research

The several available methods for treatment of cancer and all prove to have severe effects to the victims. A proper method of treatment put in place of these other forms of treatment; can be of a relief to the patients. Some cancer patients even believe that cancer treatment is worse than the cancer itself because of the side effects they have to go through. Cancer nanotechnology may have an answer to this big problem. First, it is cheaper, has faster detection methods, and has fewer side effects in comparison to the other forms of treatments (Prasad 2012).

Research Design

In nanotechnology if the cancer detection nanoparticles are loaded with anti cancer drugs then scientists can be able to attack cancer cells exactly where they are. A potent dose of the anticancer drugs is in delivery in form of time-release treatment. Thus, the delivery of the drugs is to a specific area but released over a period ensuring works effectively and at the same time keeps the patient safe. Once the drug is in the designated area with cancerous cells, the gold nanoparticles take the dye to the cancer cells. White blood cells reject this dye and once the dye is inside the cancer cells, they are activated by light to destroy these cells. This treatment in comparison to the others does not subject other parts of the body to chemicals that may affect certain areas such as the tissues. The chemicals are only concentrated to targeted areas with cancerous cells in the body. This way the problem of severe side effects can no longer be a major problem in cancer treatments with this effective and efficient form of treatment for cancer. In addition, nanotechnology is much cheaper if compared to these other forms of treatment. Nanotechnology proves to be an answer to those patients seeking cheaper treatment for cancer (Seyfried 2012).

Rationale for choice of experimental animals

Nanotechnology has incooperated the use of experimental use on different modes of cancer in animal testing for them to arrive to a safer mode of treatment that can be tolerated by the human body. Some humans have treated positive with the treatment during the research for the most stable form of cancer treatment by nanotechnology (Schulz 2009).

Aims of the research

The main objective of this type of cancer treatment is to ensure full advantage of nanotechnology. That is to have a safer mode of treatment that effective and cheaper in comparison to other treatments for cancer. The cancer cells are voracious and feast on everything including drug-loaded nanoparticles. However if the nanoparticles are consumed by the cancer cells the magnetic field will heat the cancer cells after some time. This way the cancer cells will be weaker and more prone to chemotherapy. However these nanoparticles pose potential harm to the human body since they can go anywhere in the body once inside. Also if released to the environment can harm human since they are untraceable. Nanotechnology is now using gold nanoparticles that prove to be much safer to both the patients and the environment. Nanotechnology also does not require chemotherapy after inducing the gold nanoparticles with anti cancer drugs to the body. This form of treatment can ensure that the old treatment with nanoparticles is replaceable with the new safer gold nanoparticles for treatment of cancer. If this is possible, the overall objective of safer, effective, and cheaper treatment can be a reality for research and most of all the suffering patients (National Research Council 2013).

Opportunities for cancer nanotechnology

NCI Alliance for cancer nanotechnology is in collaboration with the development for this research. The Alliance is contributing to the research in many fields including physical, biological, and technological areas. With a backbone of such a kind, the research can prove to be a success in the near future. The alliance fosters collaboration among all major fields in the research in order to have best detection methods, diagnosis, and treatment for cancer. This is a great opportunity to keep improving the research to a better level (National Research Council 2013).

Research funding for the nanotechnology is an added opportunity. The NCI gives added funds to the research allowing the scientists to deal with major challenges in cancer and arrive to an improved method for treatment. This is an advantage for the cancer nanotechnology since funding is always a major problem for many researches. Now that the research has a stable, funding makes its success easier to gain. Another great opportunity that the research gets is the vast training skills. Researchers in major fields and disciplines develop the team’s knowledge. This equips them with information to apply in nanotechnology for the research in cancer treatment. Essential training is a plus for any research development. This shows that all the relevant information required in the research from all sectors related to the research for instance technology and biology would be inclusive. Hence, stable research with successful results will be the product (National Research Council 2013).

Enabling free data exchange in the development of this research is a great opportunity for the success of the research. Data sharing involves exchange of materials, resources, new discoveries, and physical material. This is with the aim of realizing the full potential of the research to the cancer patients. This is a good thing for the research since it has the main interest on the people suffering from cancer this means whatever is in the research is for the best of those suffering from cancer. Lastly, the cheaper prices with the research pose as a great opportunity for the cancer patients to try the form of treatment. This alongside the benefit that the treatment causes less harmful effects to the patients and that it is much safer to use will put the drug as a first priority. No patient will opt for a treatment that will give him a burden of living. They would all want to enjoy a treatment that for once does not harm them excessively. This will put the research on its level as a leading treatment for the cancer patients. Even with these opportunities, the research will also face some difficulties (National Research Council 2013).

Difficulties cancer nanotechnology faces.

The long-term results for nanotechnology are all positive. The problem lies in the short-term development of the research. However much the development for nanotechnology is progressive there are biological challenges that the research faces. An example is the fabrication of nanotechnologies that will not affect any immune cells or cause any reaction. Instead, only target the cancerous cells without any suppression or activation of any immune functions. This is a challenge since the body recognizes particles by most nanotechnologies in therapy and imaging and because particles in the body are coordinated and disseminated. The solution however can be realizable given that there is funding of high-skilled training for the research. Only time is the only indefinite factor to concur this challenge (National Research Council 2013).

Secondly, in the field of both biology and technology, elimination of this nanoparticles from the body pose a great hurdle for the research. Most of the new nanoparticles have a design that is smaller than 8 nm to facilitate passage through urine from the kidneys. This is a great way since it does not have to remain in the body due to lack of elimination method. However, the elimination kinetics, are modified by the capability of the reticuloendothelial fraction of immune system to take these substances and impound them in the interstitial spaces or lymphatic organs for longer than expected. This can pose some degree of danger to the patient. This is not however a permanent problem since it can be solves given data connections are throughout the research program (National Research Council 2013).

Another major hurdle in cancer nanotechnology is the slow strategic decision. This is more of a managerial level challenge. Those in higher ranks are not giving the research a chance prove its success. This can cause the treatment to be in waiting for a long period before acquiring approval as a treatment option. Sub-optimal funding is also a great challenge for the research. If the research has a fully optimal funding its success may be realized in a matter of time. The lack of participation of private enterprises collaborating more with this research is also a hurdle. The research can be a great success in a short period given collaboration of private enterprises. Lastly, the retention of skilled scientists who would aid in the realizing of this research is also a challenge. If more committed skilled workforce is in this research, it will lessen the burden of many things since knowledge is more centralized. All these challenges are correctable with appropriate solutions they are not permanent problems. With a more collaborative research, the hurdles will not be the main issue (National Research Council 2013).


Cancer nanotechnology is a treatment that can revolutionize the era of cancer. It is a potentially successful form of treatment for cancer. With some adjustments in the managerial level, the research has a chance to grow beyond what it is now. There are some standard courses of treatment but they do have some major side effects. Only this research can replace these forms of treatments with better results. However much it is still in the development state, it tests are a proof to be much safer during the research. Though there are some scientific portholes in the research, they a can be adjusted with time. In the meantime trying this form of treatment can prove better results in comparison to the other forms of treatment (Seyfried 2012).


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NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (U.S.). (2013).Triennial review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.

Prasad, Paras N.Introduction to Nanomedicine and Nanobioengineering. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. <http://public.eblib.com/EBLPublic/PublicView.do?ptiID=848542>.

Schulz, Mark J., Vesselin N. Shanov, and Yeoheung Yun.Nanomedicine Design of Particles, Sensors, Motors, Implants, Robots, and Devices. Boston: Artech House, 2009. <http://site.ebrary.com/id/10359087>.

SEYFRIED, T. N. (2012).Cancer as a metabolic disease on the origin, management, and prevention of cancer. Hoboken, John Wiley & Sons. http://public.eblib.com/EBLPublic/PublicView.do?ptiID=861782.