Researchers at the University of Virginia have discovered a method for destroying tumor cells by using nanoparticles and light. Wensha Yang’s technique is actually dealing with quantum dots. Quantum dots are semiconductor nanoforms which can emit light when exposed to radiation (ultra-violet). The researchers also discovered that the light is being emitted when exposed to x-rays (cancer therapy). That’s why this method is great for treating cancer.
Photofrin (approved by FDA) is the compound which acts as photosensitizer. It gets absorbed by cancer cells. When those cells get exposed to light, the compound becomes active and kills the cancer cells.
Yang has described this method in his talk called “Enhanced Energy Transfer From Mega-Voltage Radiation to the Tumor Cell Killing Singlet Oxygen by Semiconductive Nanoparticles” which took place on Tuesday, July 29, 2008.