London, Jan 8: Researchers have developed cancer-killing “sticky balls,” that can destroy tumour cells in the blood and may prevent cancer spread.
The most dangerous and deadly stage of a tumour is when it spreads around the body.
Scientists at Cornell University, in the US, have designed nanoparticles that stay in the bloodstream and kill migrating cancer cells on contact, the BBC reported.
They said the impact was “dramatic” but there was “a lot more work to be done”.
The team at Cornell attached a cancer-killing protein called Trail, which has already been used in cancer trials, and other sticky proteins to tiny spheres or nanoparticles.
When these sticky spheres were injected into the blood, they latched on to white blood cells.
Tests showed that in the rough and tumble of the bloodstream, the white blood cells would bump into any tumour cells which had broken off the main tumour and were trying to spread.
The research showed the resulting contact with the Trail protein then triggered the death of the tumour cells.
The study is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)