Medical Science

Metal-organic framework: A possible replacement of chemotherapy

Chemotherapy, a common cancer treatment that uses powerful chemicals to destroy rapidly growing cells in the body. But the patients have to undergo a painful and stressed phase with a lot of side effects. So scientists have been trying to replace this treatment with a less painful process.
A group researcher from University of Arkansas, conducted their study with a view to achieving a possible replacement of chemotherapy. They found out that photodynamic therapy (PDT) is showing successful result in destroying triple negative breast cancer cells which is one of the most aggressive type of breast cancer. Although PDT is not a new approach in treatment of diseases, the researchers tried to apply that for destroying breast cancer cells.

In their study, they introduced a novel class of nanomaterials, called metal organic framework with the existing photodynamic therapy(PDT) drug that aims and kills tumor cells without any toxicity to healthy cells. PDT, which is a two step treatment, uses light energy in combination with a drug (photosensitizer) to destroy cancerous cell. Photosensitizer becomes activated by specific wavelength of light and becomes toxic to the targeted tissue.

As cytotoxic chemotherapy is the only approved treatment for triple negative breast cancer until now, this new approach may become a successful replacement to avoid the harmful side effects of it.

Fahmida Khanam

Department of Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology

University of Chittagong


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