Rockville Company to Collaborate on Cancer Treatment Using Gold Particles

CytImmune and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca agree to study feasibility of gold-based nanomedicine.


Rockville-based CytImmune and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca have entered into an agreement to study the feasibility of a new cancer treatment using gold nanoparticles, CytImmune announced.

The treatment, called CYT-6091, has been tested successfully at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda in clinical trials for advanced-stage cancer patients, the company said in a statement.

The gold nanoparticles were able to carry cancer-killing medicine to tumors and avoid healthy tissue -- a vexing problem in cancer treatment.

"By combining CytImmune's proprietary nanotechnology with AstraZeneca's oncology compound, AstraZeneca and CytImmune have the opportunity to create a cancer therapy that may be widely applicable to many solid tumors, which may help improve patient outcomes and positively impact cancer care," said Dr. Lawrence Tamarkin, CytImmune's CEO.

CytImmune's gold nanoparticle effectively targets tumor cells but without harsh side effects, according to an article in the Boston Globe.

“If we can reduce the tumors where they are, we can significantly reduce or completely eliminate the need for surgeries, which would reduce time in hospitals," Tamarkin told the Globe. "I would posit that this would reduce health care costs.”

About 5,000 of the gold nanoparticles made by CytImmune can fit in the width of a human hair, according to the article.


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