Patients suffering from mesothelioma in Pennsylvania know that this type of cancer, usually caused by asbestos exposure, can be difficult to treat as well as expensive. However, a new type of treatment using tiny, hollow gold cylinders may give patients a longer lease on life.

Gold nanotubes appear to help kill cancer cells

Most mesothelioma treatments only give patients a few additional months of life. However, according to a group of researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Leeds, the golden nanotubes are “eaten” by mesothelioma cells when light is shined upon them. Laser light can penetrate deep into tissue and doesn’t damage any of the surrounding healthy cells.

What is remarkable about this treatment is that manufacturers can vary the size of the nanotubes, which in turn allows researchers to customize treatment. By placing chemotherapy drugs inside the nanotubes, research should be able to develop targeted treatments for those suffering from this fatal disease. These golden tubes may also become part of imaging processes for diagnostic purposes. The laser light therapy shows promise as mesothelioma cultures in lab settings absorbed the nanotubes that heated up, thereby killing them.

What does this therapy mean for mesothelioma patients?

Potential treatments from gold nanotubes can mean big advancements for patients facing cancer treatments due to mesothelioma. Some mesothelioma cases involve lawsuits against employers or manufacturers that caused asbestos exposure, so plaintiffs may have the potential to include the cost of such treatments in their settlements. These treatments might be able to extend a patient’s life, so anyone who has a possible mesothelioma case may want to keep a close watch on these developments.