JAN 17, 2020 9:19 AM PST

Could salt nanoparticles kill cancer?

Could salt be the key to killing cancer cells? A new study published in Advanced Materials reports success in using sodium chloride to destroy cancer cells in mice. The study elicits hope for the use of a natural compound in cancer treatments that would pose fewer negative side effects than the chemical treatments available today.

Coming from scientists at the University of Georgia, in Athens, the study investigated the use of nanoparticles of sodium chloride to purposely cause apoptosis. They say that sodium chloride nanoparticles (SCNPs) can be delivered into cells to disrupt the ion homeostasis, breaking cell machinery and the plasma membrane.

Now listen up, because here’s the cool part. When SCNPs are delivered into tumor cells of mice and subsequently rupture the cell membrane, the resulting effect is the release of sodium and chlorine atoms that triggers an immune response to help the body fight against tumors. Cool, huh!

In the mice models that the researchers conducted, they determined that the delivery of SCNPs suppressed tumor growth by 66%; additionally, the SCNPs did not harm any of the mice's organs.

Lead author Jin Xie, Ph.D., commented on the safety of the technique, saying: "After the treatment, the nanoparticles are reduced to salts, which are merged with the body's fluid system and cause no systematic or accumulative toxicity. No sign of systematic toxicity was observed with SCNPs injected at high doses."

The hidden cancer-killing effects of sodium chloride nanoparticles. Photo: Pixabay

The authors say that "Primary concerns are [the particles'] toxicity, slow clearance, and unpredictable long‐term impact to the hosts.” In addition to that, arises the unforgettable truth that this method has only worked so far in mice, not in humans. Nevertheless, Xie expresses his optimism that SCNPs "will find wide applications in treatment of bladder, prostate, liver, and head and neck cancer."

Sources: Medical News Today, Advanced Materials

About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
AUG 13, 2021
Cancer
Ultrasound Triggers Immunotherapy to Destroy Tumors
AUG 13, 2021
Ultrasound Triggers Immunotherapy to Destroy Tumors
An immunotherapy engineered to be triggered by ultrasound beams significantly slows the growth of cancerous tumors in mi ...
AUG 19, 2021
Cancer
Age of Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis Does not Affect Tumor Growth
AUG 19, 2021
Age of Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis Does not Affect Tumor Growth
Early-onset colorectal cancer progresses in the same way as average onset colorectal cancer. The corresponding study was ...
OCT 04, 2021
Cancer
Good News for Coffee Lovers: A New Study Finds Caffeine Does Not Impact Breast Cancer Risk
OCT 04, 2021
Good News for Coffee Lovers: A New Study Finds Caffeine Does Not Impact Breast Cancer Risk
Reports indicate that caffeine consumption in the United States is greatest in adults aged 50 – 64.  Coincide ...
OCT 07, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
Color-Changing Slides Improve Accuracy in Cancer Diagnosis
OCT 07, 2021
Color-Changing Slides Improve Accuracy in Cancer Diagnosis
When cancer is diagnosed, a sample has to be taken from a patient, treated, and analyzed. Researchers have now modified ...
OCT 28, 2021
Cancer
NF-κB: a Trick or a Treat for Cancer?
OCT 28, 2021
NF-κB: a Trick or a Treat for Cancer?
A family of proteins, known as transcription factors, regulate the biological process of converting DNA into RNA. T ...
NOV 23, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Scientists Enter Uncharted Territory of the Cancer Genome, Emerge Victorious
NOV 23, 2021
Scientists Enter Uncharted Territory of the Cancer Genome, Emerge Victorious
Cancer is a genetic disease—it stems from specific changes in the DNA sequences of the cancer cell genome. Over th ...
Loading Comments...