The Use of Radioactive Nanoparticles for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer

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Radioactive nanoparticles are emerging in the field of Nuclear Medicine as effective treatments for cancer. This thesis presents the results of a literature review, analyzing current trends in research and postulating future directions for investigation. Chemotherapy used today is non-discriminatory in its effects, harming both healthy and diseased tissue. By attaching antibodies and other vectors to the surface of nanoparticles, increases in preferential accumulation within malignant tumors can be obtained. Targeting methods have the effect of both reducing collateral damage to healthy cells and increasing the effective dose to diseased cells. The surface properties of nanoparticles allow them to be easily modified both structurally and chemically. Different radionuclides can then be attached to these surfaces, functionalizing them either for radiotherapy or diagnostic imaging. The flexibility afforded by nanoplatforms gives radioactive nanoparticles the potential to revolutionize the fields of nuclear medicine and oncology in the treatment of cancer.
Thesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Alfred University Honors Program.
Honors thesis, Nanoparticles, Nuclear medicine, Cancer