Focal Therapy, AuroLase, Shows Good Safety and Potential Effectiveness in Pilot Clinical Trial

Focal Therapy, AuroLase, Shows Good Safety and Potential Effectiveness in Pilot Clinical Trial
Nanospectra BiosciencesAuroLase Therapy, a focal therapy for prostate cancer that uses gold-silica nanoparticles, showed a good safety profile and evidence of successfully eliminating the cancer in a pilot clinical trial. Results were published in the journal PNAS, in the study, "Gold nanoshell-localized photothermal ablation of prostate tumors in a clinical pilot device study." Prostate cancer can be treated by removing the entire prostate, but this causes its own side effects. A focus is on therapies that can more specifically kill cancer cells, but leave healthy prostate tissue intact. AuroLase aims to do this using nanoparticles called AuroShells — small spheres of silica glass wrapped in a thin layer of gold – and lasers. The gold nanoparticles are small enough to cross the tumor's leaky vasculature, but not vessels in healthy tissue, which makes them specific to tumor sites. Once AuroShells accumulate in the tumor, clinicians can hit these cancerous areas with a laser (a beam of near-infared light), which is harmless and passes through body tissue without having any effect. But when it hits the nanoparticles, they heat up, effectively burning away the cancer inside the body. Because the laser can be directed precisely, this technique is not expected to damage healthy prostate tissue or other nearby structures, which could be injured by a more radical treatment such as surgery. An ongoing feasibility clinical trial (
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