Esophageal cancer causes nearly 16,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, according to the American Cancer Society. But tumors can be difficult to detect, often hidden in the normal tissue of the throat and hard to find with an endoscopic probe. To remedy that, a UTA nursing researcher is using nanoparticles to more effectively detect and treat the disease.
The modified nanoparticles can also carry chemotherapy drugs directly to the tumor site.
Associate Professor Zui Pan and her colleagues have manufactured polypeptide nanoparticles with tumor-targeting properties and near-infrared fluorescence for better tissue imaging. The modified nanoparticles can also carry chemotherapy drugs directly to the tumor site. This nanoparticle-based platform could allow a surgeon to spot the affected area clearly to remove it or help doctors see the extent and location of the cancer so they can consider alternative therapies.
Dr. Pan's collaborators are UTA postdoctoral fellow Yan Chang and graduate student Chaochu Cui, along with Ohio State University Professor Mingjun Zhang and postdoctoral fellow Zhen Fan. The team's research was published in Nature Communications.