To see the light

Almost all anticancer agents have severe side effects on healthy tissues and organs. Side effects include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores, fatigue, headache and hair loss, to name just a few. The reason for these multiple adverse reactions is that chemotherapy treatments damage all the dividing cells, so the parts of the body where normal cells divide frequently are also likely to be affected. Assat. Prof Boaz Mizrahi lab has taken tremendous efforts in developing target delivery systems that can coat a drug while in the blood stream but releases it when reached the diseased organ. The treatment involves injecting tiny nanoparticles composed of chemotherapy drug coated with our novel material. Then we can shine a light on the tumor from outside using lasers. A strong interaction between the coating layer and the laser light causes the material to heat up, melt and release the chemotherapy drug directly and selectively inside the tumor. This concept is unlikely to cause tissue damage as it uses safe biomaterials and source of light.
This study is conducted by Alona Shagan, a PhD candidate.