Graphene Attacks Cancer Stem Cells

University of Manchester scientists have used graphene to target and neutralisecancer stem cells while not harming other cells. Writing in the journal Oncotarget, the team of researchers led by Professor Michael Lisanti and Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan has shown that graphene oxide , a modified form of graphene, acts as an anti-cancer agent that selectively targets cancer stem cells (CSCs).
In combination with existing treatments, this could eventually lead to tumour shrinkage as well as preventing the spread of cancer and its recurrence after treatment. However, more pre-clinical studies and extensive clinical trials will be necessary to move this forward into the clinic to ensure patient benefit.

graphene interacts with cellGraphene oxide flakes interacting with cell membranes

Cancer stem cells possess the ability to give rise to many different tumour cell types. They are responsible for the spread of cancer within the body – known as metastasis– which is responsible for 90% of cancer deaths“, explains Professor Lisanti, the Director of the Manchester Centre for Cellular Metabolism within the University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences.
They also play a crucial role in the recurrence of tumours after treatment. This is because conventional radiation and chemotherapies only kill the ‘bulk’ cancer cells, but do not generally affect the CSCs.”