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Nanoparticles to Help Detect Nano-Levels of Leukemia

Senior Scientific and Manhattan Scientifics, a firm that invests in nanomedicine research projects, has entered into a joint venture to develop magnetic imaging based on nanotechnology.

The Gray Sheet recently published an article describing a clinical test being conducted on 35 patients by Manhattan Scientifics to determine minute levels of residual leukemia cells down to 0.3% with the help of a nanotechnology-based magnetic photographic technique from Senior Scientific. Manhattan Scientifics has received a license from Senior Scientific to use the technology.

Although the technology is in its nascent stages, the companies say they have entered into discussions with both the drug manufacturers and imaging companies. The tests will be conducted on 60 patients over two years. The effect of chemotherapy will be studied through tracking of residual traces of the disease. Other types of tumors will also be tested. It will also benefit treatment of hypothermia and in surgical procedures. The team is also researching on other malignant and Alzheimer's diseases. The trial involves bone marrow extracted from leukemia patients and injected with magnetic nanoparticles connected to antigens. The antigens attach themselves to leukemia cells. The density of the leukemia cells is then determined with a magnetic biopsy needle and a sensor array meant for magnetic fields.

The research is taking place at the Health Sciences Center, University of New Mexico. The procedure tells physicians how well the chemotherapy has worked, and whether the treatment could be stopped or the dosage altered. This technique will be crucial in treating leukemia in children where prolonged chemotherapy could result in long term negative effects. It will also be suitable for tracing breast cancer in its initial stages. Scars and implants will also not affect its use, besides removing danger of false alerts.

An in vivo technique, where the nanoparticles connected to antigen are injected into the body, will help detect exactly where the cancer is located. The number of nanoparticles attached to the tumor will increase or decrease in proportion to the size of the tumor.



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