In a breakthrough innovation in nanomedicine, a team of researchers at Indian Institute of Technology Mandi has created nano-dimensional capsules which can both diagnose and treat tumours, reports India Today.
The detection part is done by using multi-modal imaging, and the treatment is carried out via targeted drugs transported by the capsules. This field of medical science is known as Theranostics, where one multifunctional agent can simultaneously conduct three tasks- diagnosis, treatment and monitoring.
Theranostics is by no means a magic bullet to treat cancer or other maladies; however, it does provide for much individualistic treatment, meaning that more efficacious treatment may be given on a person-to-person basis.
The team led by Dr Jaiswal have used the modern availability of nanomaterials to try and implement the idea of theranostics in real life. The nanocapsules developed by the team conduct the diagnosis via a technique called Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy.
The therapeutic part of the treatment is carried out by delivering the fluorescent cancer drug Doxorubicin at the site of the tumour.
However, before the technology can really become of practical use, a number of further issues such as those related to the toxicity for the human body from such treatment, need to be addressed.