Wired has a report about The National Cancer Institute and the next wave of cancer fighting technologies:
The first cancer nanotech applications will likely involve detection. Nanoparticles could recognize cancer’s molecular signatures, gathering the proteins produced by cancerous cells or signaling the presence of telltale genetic changes. Researchers have already used a protein called albumin — considered a naturally occurring nanoparticle — to detect proteins found in ovarian cancer tissue.
Other nanoparticles could adhere to cancerous cells and, when viewed under a magnetic resonance imager or fluorescent light, reveal cancers now hidden to our eyes.
“Nanotech gives us the opportunity to detect cancer tumors at 1,000 cells, whereas we’re now seeing them at 1 million cells. By the time you detect some cancers today, there’s no option of curing them, only of prolonging life,” said Sri Sridhar, director of Northeastern University’s Nanomedicine Science and Technology Program.
They even have a video!