Magnetic nanoparticles might prevent spread of the cancer

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Magnetic nanoparticles can selectively remove ovarian cancer cells from human ascites fluid, based on research published online in December in Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine.

“Selective removal of ovarian cancer cells from serous fluids may abate metastasis and improve long-term prognoses,” said lead author Kenneth E. Scarberry, PhD, postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

"We have previously shown that superparamagnetic nanoparticles conjugated to an ephrin mimetic peptide with a high affinity for the EphA2 receptor can be used to capture and remove cultured human ovarian cancer cells from the peritonea of experimental mice," Scarberry wrote. "Here we demonstrate the potential clinical utility of the methodology by in vitro capture and isolation of cancer cells from the ascites fluid of ovarian cancer patients."

Senior author John F. McDonald, PhD, a professor of biology at the Georgia Institute said: “We are primarily interested in developing an effective method to reduce the spread of ovarian cancer cells to other organs.”

“Circulating tumor cells can implant at distant sites and give rise to secondary tumors. Our technique is designed to filter the peritoneal fluid or blood and remove these free floating cancer cells, which should increase longevity by preventing the continued metastatic spread of the cancer,” noted Scarberry.