Virginia Tech scientists have developed a cancer drug that increases the effectiveness of a common chemotherapy treatment and dramatically reduces devastating side effects, such as hair loss, nausea, and nerve pain. The new drug uses gold nanoparticles created by the biotech firm CytImmune Sciences to deliver paclitaxel — a commonly used chemotherapy drug — directly to a tumor. In early lab tests in treating mouse melanoma, a 2.5-milligram dose of paclitaxel delivered on Kingston’s gold nanoparticles vehicle was essentially as effective as a dose of 40 milligrams of paclitaxel by itself. The delivery method is expected to soon move toward clinical trial, said Kingston.

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