Researchers at the University of Leeds and University of Cambridge demonstrated that tiny gold nanotubes could treat cancer caused by asbestos fibres.
In the study, the scientists showed that – when inside cancer cells – the nanotubes can absorb light, which causes them to heat up and kill the cells. The new research may pave the way towards new treatments, especially as mesothelioma is known to be a ‘hard-to-treat’ cancer.
Professor Stephen Evans, from the School of Physics and Astronomy and Astbury Centre, said: “Having control over the size and shape of the nanotubes allows us to tune them to absorb light where the tissue is transparent and will allow them to be used for both the imaging and treatment of cancers.
“The next stage will be to load these nanotubes with medicines for enhanced therapies.”