Microscopic Science of Nanotechnology Looms Large

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center

Even though modern medicine offers earlier detection and more effective treatments than ever before, cancer still kills about four million Americans each year.

Engineers at the University of South Florida and researchers from the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center are teaming up to find new ways to improve those statistics.

One approach is to develop medical tools that work on the atomic level within the body. That science is called nanotechnology. Scientists at Moffitt say it can be used to detect cancer earlier, so treatment can begin sooner.

Michael Kovac is leading the nanotechnology research at USF. He says that one benefit may be the ability to put the power of cancer detection in the hands of consumers.

KOVAC: We've talked about the possibility of going to Wal-Mart and getting, in 10 years, a kit that you can do a diagnosis for cancer.

Other uses of nanotechnology in fighting cancer include developing drugs that target only cancer cells, leaving healthy cells alone.

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