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Researchers Use Nanoparticles in Melanoma Treatment

Posted: September 18, 2008

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While human clinical trials could be years away, Robertson says the findings show the promise of personalized medicine, where patients could receive treatments designed to specifically target the errant genes or proteins for their disease. "The problem with this cancer, like most cancers, is that if you target one protein, the cells quickly find a way around it," explained Robertson. "Most chemotherapies are ineffective because patients initially respond but then when the tumor reoccurs, the cancer does not respond at all."

In the future, Robertson believes physicians could identify three or four targets in a patient, which could be treated sequentially or in combination for a greater health benefit.

Other researchers on the paper include Melissa A. Tran, graduate student; Raghavendra Gowda, postdoctoral fellow; Arati Sharma, assistant professor; and Mark Kester, professor, all in the Department of Pharmacology; James Adair, professor of materials science and engineering; E. J. Park, graduate student, and Nadine Barrie Smith, associate professor of bioengineering, all at Penn State.

The American Cancer Society, The Foreman Foundation for Melanoma Research, and the Department of Defense Technologies for Metabolic Monitoring funded this work.

Adapted from materials provided by Penn State.