New Cancer Particle Tracking Developed At OSU Could Revolutionize Cancer Treatments


An Ohio State Researcher may have unlocked a mystery when it comes to knowing if chemotherapy in the body is doing what it should.

For those battling cancer, it provides hope that in the future, others will benefit and may not have to suffer the side-effects.

Randi Arnett was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in August at 36 years old.

“It was very scary to get diagnosed and it's been very scary to go through chemo,” she said.

Chemotherapy is keeping the cancer away.

“I've gone through seven treatments so far. I have nine left,” she Arnett said.

But like many cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy, doctors can't see whether the chemo is attacking all or some of the cancer cells.

Biomedical Engineer Dr. Mingjun Zhang’s discovery may one day give doctors the ability to answer the question they've never been able to answer.

Inside his lab at Ohio State, Zhang found a way to use incredibly small particles to travel with the chemotherapy drug.

Once these particles break away and travel to cancer cells, they’re designed to attack and kill them.

“The reviews we obtained are unanimous that this is a breakthrough,” Dr. Zhang said.

Today, doctors are really in the dark when it comes to seeing in real time if the chemo drugs are going to the right place.

Zhan developed a flashlight of sorts so doctors can see the drug working in real time. When his particles attack, they light up telling doctors the chemo is attacking the cancer cells.

While the research isn't ready for humans yet, people like Arnett says it gives hope to future cancer patients that their treatment will be more targeted, and hopefully more effective at killing the cancer cells.

Zhang believes his research will ease many of the side effects of chemotherapy. He hopes to begin tests on humans in a few years.