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Nanotherapy: Gold-drug combo could target tumors

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1:03pm, September 19, 2007

Looking for a way to deliver a chemotherapy drug to cancer patients more safely and effectively, a team of chemists has attached dozens of paclitaxel (Taxol) molecules to tiny gold particles that could carry the drug directly to a tumor in the body.

Paclitaxel, first isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew tree in 1967, is widely prescribed for people with lung, ovarian, or breast cancers. Because the drug isn't water soluble, it's mixed into a solvent called cremophor, which can cause severe allergic reactions and is responsible for many of the treatment's side effects.

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