Odd, isn't it.
The biggest foe of health care is about to be taken out by a drug that's smaller than a single human cell. Researchers at a private Australian biotech firm, EnGeneIC, have devised a method of fighting cancer that relies upon nanotechnology.
Nanotechnology is the growing field in which extraordinarily small materials are used to complete tasks. For a perspective on scope, consider: most nanotechnology applications utilize components that are between 1 and 100 nanometers. What is a nanometer? Well, a nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. Still not quite sure? Join the club. Yes, this is the point at which we all bow our heads, and give thanks to the God they often deny that scientists are exceedingly bright.
EnGeneIC reports it has developed nano-cells that contain chemotherapy drugs. It's fantastic. The nano-drugs are injected into the patient, where they target and seek out the cancer cells. Once they find the cells, they attach themselves. The cancer cells, in a fatal error, absorb the nano-drugs and the beginning of the end commences. Once absorbed within the cancer cells, the nano-drugs release the chemotherapy agent and kill the cancer cell - it's the ultimate medical miracle inside job.
The unique treatment method allows for doses that are thousands of times smaller than those currently employed. As a result, the devastating side effects of traditional cancer treatments are significantly reduced.
Trials with primates have indicated the drug is safe and EnGeneIC hopes to initiate human trials in late 2007.
So, in yet another odd twist, science and religion have formed a unique partnership in confirming the old truth of good things coming in small packages. After all, when it comes to this new treatment, the sentiment appears to be, "I can't see it - but I believe it."To read more about the research, see this from Reuters. To learn more about nanotechnology, see this from the National Nanotechnology Initiative.