Graphene is a marvellous material and shows potential as novel anti-cancer therapeutic strategy !
Cancer starts when cells in our bodies start to reproduce out of control, forming new, abnormal cells. These abnormal cells form lumps, known as tumours. Cancer cells are able to invade other parts of the body, where they settle and grow to form new tumours known as secondary deposits – the original site is known as the primary tumour. The cells spread by getting into the blood or lymph vessels and travelling around the body. Cancer harms the body in a number of ways.
The size of the tumour can interfere with nearby organs or ducts that carry important chemicals. For example, a tumour on the pancreas can grow to block the bile duct, leading to the patient developing obstructive jaundice. A brain tumour can push on important parts of the brain, causing blackouts, fits and other serious health problems. There may also be more widespread problems such as loss of appetite and increased energy use with loss of weight, or changes in the body’s clotting system leading to deep vein thrombosis.
Graphene is one of the most popular material in last decade. There are several application area since graphene has remarkable characteristics. For example, graphene is light, strong, flexible, bendable, high conductive.
Some researchers from The University of Manchester won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010 thanks to these unique properties of graphene.
Besides physical research, biological researches included graphene and graphene based materials continue in all around the world. Professor Lisanti is from University of Manchester, directs the Manchester Centre for Cellular Metabolism. He stated that cancer stem cells not only possess the ability to give rise to many different tumour cell types but also stay in the body after chemotherapy, radiotheraphy and other complicated surgeries. These type of stem cells are responsible for the spread of cancer within whole body. The process of cancer cells spreading is called metastasis. Main responsible factor for 90% of cancer deaths is metastasis process not actually cancer. Cancer stem cells do not act like other cell types. They can not be affected by chemotherapy, radiotheraphy and drug theraphy. Therefore cancer stem cells play an important role in in the recurrence of tumours after treatment. Due to this unique properties of the cancer stem cells, cancer seems like an unsolvable problem in the world.
Moreover Dr Lisanti stated that graphene oxide material is stable in water and this property means that it can be used in several biomedical applications. Graphene oxide can easily attach or enter the cancer cells and this makes them candidates for designed drug delivery. Furthermore, graphene oxide can be used as an effective anticancer drug. Normally cancer stem cells tend to be make small mass of cells called as a tumor sphere. When graphene oxide applied into this process, cancer stem cells could not form these shape of tumor. On the contrary, graphene oxide forced cancer stem cells to differentiate into non-cancer stem-cells.
This means graphene oxide itself can be used in not only tagging but also treating of cancer.
Scientists are creating targeted cancer therapies using their latest insights into cancer at a molecular level. These treatments block the growth of cancer by interfering with genetic switches and molecules specifically involved in tumour growth and progression. Clinical trials using gene therapy are also underway. This experimental treatment involves adding genetic material into a person’s cells to fight or prevent disease.
Graphene oxide is one of the most promising material for anti cancer theraphy and graphene based anti cancer materials will be more popular in the last decade.