12 thoughts on “D27 – McBane

    1. Hey! We picked SPIONs for 2 main reasons. 1) SPIONs are very customizable–this allows them to be compatible with outer casings or coating (like sugars and nucleosides). That customizability is useful in a potential chemotherapeutic because it gives the SPIONs high targeting functionality. In particular, cancer cells need high amounts of sugars & nucleosides because of their high proliferation rates. So, coating SPIONs in nucleosides & sugars could increase their targeting functionality to cancer cells. 2) SPIONs are very exciting to research as potential chemotherapy because their key therapeutic function is their capacity for magnetism/ magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH), not cytotoxicity, which suggests that they may be a less invasive cancer treatment than existing chemotherapies.

    1. Hey! For our experiment, the lack of cytotoxicity could be due to many factors. Namely, it could be due to simply not having a large enough or adequate) sample size. We had very low numbers in our results. Also, it seems that some larvae did not even make it to the pupal stage. This very well could have had a major impact on our results. Also, it could be that the larvae did not ingest the high larvae concentrations, so SPIONs never could have made an impact. However, I want to note that the lack of cytotoxicity in our results is not entirely a negative outcome. This is because the ultimate goal of SPIONs as chemotherapy would be a high therapeutic index between magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH) and cytotoxic effects (which would hopefully reduce side effects, too). Otherwise, there is a myriad of other reasons that there was a lack of cytotoxicity.

    1. Hey! This is definitely a question that needs continued research. The way I understand it, the argument that magnetism is superior to cytotoxicity is primarily because it may be a non-invasive (or less invasive) thermal cancer treatment. This is a result of controlled, targeted heating of the cancerous cell. Since it should be less invasive, there should be fewer side effects.

  1. Great presentation! Are there any downsides of using SPIONs as opposed to traditional chemotherapy that need to be addressed before widespread clinical use?

    1. Hey! Yes, certainly. I think one major aspect is that SPIONs still need extensive research prior to clinical use. There are others concerns, too. For example, there needs to be more research regarding the stability of SPIONs in the patient’s bloodstream. Also, there is a lot of work to be done with regard to the optimization of size, shape, chemical properties, and more to improve the efficacy of SPIONs. In short, there is still a large magnitude of research, work, and development that needs to be done before SPIONs can go into clinical use.

  2. What would you expect to see if magnetic fields were included in this study? Would you study it again in tandem with radiation, or instead of it?

    1. Hey! Absolutely. The idea is that exposure of SPIONs to an alternating magnetic current would trigger magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH). If MFH is triggered, then cancer cells could be killed with only a minor increase in cytoplasmic temperature. As such, an alternating magnetic current would hopefully increase the therapeutic function of SPIONs. Also, since SPIONs are so customizable, there is potential for a symbiotic relationship between SPIONs and radiation therapy, hopefully increasing active targeting. So, I would be very interested to test both of these factors because a) it would develop SPIONs research, regardless of the result and b) it might increase the chemotherapeutic function of SPIONs

  3. Great presentation! Are there any potential downsides of using SPIONs as opposed to traditional chemotherapy?

    1. Hey! I touched on some other downsides in my response to your previous question, but I’ll discuss some more here, too. The major downside I see is that there is much more that is ‘known’ about chemotherapy. SPIONs is still a relatively new field in chemotherapeutic research, and as such, it may be inherently more risky. Additionally, traditional chemotherapy is already known to be highly potent and powerful. Personally, I’d like to note that it would be interesting to research more about combination therapy between SPIONs and traditional chemotherapy. Also, I think for certain cases/cancers, there may be more downsides than others.

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