Astronomy Magazine, May 2012 "What has astronomy done for you lately ?"
Astrobiology Magazine: Astrotherapy for Cancer
The Columbus Dispatch (Sunday July 17, 2011): Searching for a cancer treatment in the stars
Ohio State University News Release: ASTRONOMERS REACH FOR THE STARS TO DISCOVER NEW CANCER THERAPY
UPI Science News: Astronomy could yield cancer treatments
R&D: Astronomers' research on celestial bodies may have an impact on the human body.
FoxNews: Could Black Holes Help Treat Cancer Patients?
Physics Inventions: Astronomers reach for the stars to discover new cancer therapy
Smartplanet.com (CBS News affiliate): Astronomers use X-ray technology to develop cancer therapy
Times of India: Space secrets could lead to cancer treatment
Daily News and Analysis (DNA): Space secrets could lead to superior cancer treatment therapies
TruthDive: Space secrets could lead to superior cancer treatment therapies
Daily India: Space secrets could lead to superior cancer treatment therapies
Dalje.com: Astronomy could yield cancer treatments
Azonano.com: Researchers Study New Radiation Therapy for Cancer Employing Resonant Nano-Plasma Theranostics
Laboratory Equipment: Star X-Rays Improve Cancer Treatment
SPACEINFO.com.Au: Space spin-offs - better cancer therapy
Hindustan Times: Astronomical finding may help treat cancer patients
Space.com Yahoo News: Astronomy Discovery Could Help Treat Cancer Patients
Discovery News and Space News: For New Cancer Therapies, Look to the Stars
American Association for Cancer Research Journal "Cancer Discovery": Astronomy Research Suggests Tumor Tools
Could Black Holes Help Treat Cancer Patients?
Excellence to Eminence: Innovation Astronomers reach for the stars for new cancer therapy
COLUMBUS January 28, 2010
Two Ohio State University astronomy researchers have established an international reputation for using X-rays and supercomputers to search the vast depths of space to identify elusive black holes. Now, they and their interdisciplinary colleagues are repositioning their scientific methodology to peer into the human body to enhance cancer therapy and diagnostics (theranostics).
Led by OSUs Anil Pradhan , Ph.D., and Sultana Nahar, Ph.D., an international research team is using new computer-based models and high-end X-ray spectroscopy to minimize radiation risks and enhance therapeutic efficiency for cancer patients. The X-ray irradiation process causes embedded nanoparticles of iron, gold and other heavy elements to release photons and low-energy electrons to help break up the DNA in malignant tumors. The researchers are also experimenting with bromine, iodine and platinum.
The resonant nano-plasma theranostics or RNPT could revolutionise X-ray diagnostics and therapy, Pradhan told the science magazine Nature. The RNPT approach would reduce radiation exposure by factors from 10 to 100, he added.
The Ohio Supercomputer Center, with our flagship IBM Cluster 1350 system, is well positioned to help researchers with this sort of ground-breaking, critically important investigation, said Ashok Krishnamurthy, interim co-executive director of OSC.
Nature recently reported on Pradhan and Nahars cancer project in its India edition, while just last month, OSC highlighted the duos recent astronomy work in an annual research publication.
Black holes are invisible, but a plasma sea of super-hot atoms spiraling into black holes betrays their existence. Astronomers study the plasma to collect telltale radiation readings, from the visible to the X-ray, using satellites and large telescopes, such as the Large Binocular Telescope.
Pradhan, Nahar and their team leveraged OSC resources to perform high-accuracy energy calculations to compare with the radiation readings. The most precise large-scale calculations ever made for iron were done by Nahar, who thus is known among astronomers as the Iron Lady.
Astrophysicists also use supercomputers to virtually create the conditions found inside a star and compare their results with laboratory measurements made from nuclear fusion devices. OSC hosts the teams unique on-line interactive databases (OPSERVER and OSU-NORAD) that are accessed by astronomers and physicists worldwide
New computer-based models along with high-end X-ray imaging could aid the use of nanoparticles of gold and other heavy elements in cancer therapy and diagnostics1.
To minimize radiation risks and enhance therapeutic efficiency, researchers have used X-rays at precisely tuned 'resonant' energies efficiently absorbed by nanoparticles of gold and iron.
Upon irradiation by mono-energetic X-ray beams, the embedded nanoparticles emit photons and low-energy electrons breaking up the DNA in malignant tissues.
In addition to iron and gold, the researchers are also experimenting with bromine and iodine, which are active elements in radiological contrast agents used for imaging, as also the high atomic number element platinum.
"The resonant nano-plasma theranostics or RNPT could revolutionise X-ray diagnostics and therapy," says lead researcher Anil Pradhan. The RNPT approach introduces atomic and molecular spectroscopy in X-ray imaging in conjunction with nanobiotechnology, reducing radiation exposure by factors from 10 to 100, he adds.
The authors of this work are from: Department of Astronomy, and department of Chemistry, The Ohio State University, Ohio; department of radiation oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Applied physics division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, US and High Performance Computing Group, ISL, IBM India, Bangalore, India.
References: Pradhan, K. A. et al. Resonant X-ray Enhancement of the Auger Effect in High-Z Atoms, Molecules, and Nanoparticles: Potential Biomedical Applications. J. Phys. Chem. A. 113, 12356-12363 (2009) |
return to Anil K. Pradhan's home page
Revised: April 3, 2013