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Illuminating Pancreatic Cancer With New Nanoparticle System

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Theranostics have the potential to both diagnose cancers and treat them, all in one package. But it’s challenging to tell when — or even if — the package has reached and penetrated a tumor. Now, researchers reporting in ACS’ JACS Au have designed a nanoparticle system that can get through tough pancreatic cancer tumors, releasing fluorescent dyes in human cell samples and 3D lab-made tumor masses for diagnostics and therapy.

The most common type of pancreatic cancer, called pancreatic ductal carcinoma, is also one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose and treat. Studies have shown that 5-year survival rates of people with the disease are very low. The tumors are often dense, and it is challenging for imaging dyes and medicines to reach cells deep within the mass. Researchers have been developing theranostics that specifically enter tumor cells, but few systems allow scientists to track this uptake or to see how deeply the compounds penetrate. So, Hui Li, Zhiqian Guo and colleagues wanted to solve this problem by designing a new delivery system that includes dyes that only fluoresce under certain conditions .Read more . . . 

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