By Laura Shin
Posting in Cancer
Angela Zhang has come up with a novel treatment for cancer that could someday lead to a cure -- and she hasn't even graduated from high school yet.
It's no wonder she won a national science contest.
High school senior Angela Zhang, of Cupertino, Calif., has done research that could someday lead to a cure for cancer. Her work earned her $100,000 in a national Siemens science competition.
Zhang told ABC News, "I created a nanoparticle that's kind of like the Swiss Army knife of cancer treatment in that it can detect cancer cells, eradicate the cancer cells and then monitor the treatment response."
This is her proposed treatment: She mixes cancer medicine in a polymer that attaches to nanoparticles, which are then used to attach to cancer cells. Those nanoparticles can be detected on an MRI so doctors can see exactly where the tumors are.
She then thought that targeting the tumors with an infrared light would melt the polymers, release the medicine and kill the cancer cells -- all while leaving the healthy cells intact. Et voila! It almost completely eradicated the tumors in mice.
It remains to be seen whether the method works in humans, and that process will take years, but the technique is original and promising on several levels.
As Tejal Desai, a bioengineer at the University of California, San Francisco, and a Siemens competition judge told MSNBC. "She showed great creativity and initiative in designing a nanoparticle system that can be triggered to release drugs at the site of the tumor while also allowing for noninvasive imaging."
Remarkably, Zhang worked on her research in her spare time. In ninth grade, she began reading doctorate level papers on bio-engineering, and the following year, she convinced a Stanford lab to give her access. Her junior year, she began conducting her own research.
Of her future, Zhang, whose top college picks are Stanford and Harvard, says in the above interview, "I'm excited to learn just everything possible," she said. "Everything in the sciences -- biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, even computer science -- to make new innovations possible."
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Feb 7, 2012
OK LET ME GIVE YOU AN AID IN THIS. DOCTORS CAN ALREADY FIND CANCER AND IDENTIFY IT. my father has cancer and (without these nanoparticles) doctors found it. and if they would just get their heads out of their buttts they would see the cure in something already achieved. skin regeneration if the cancer is injected with it it will cure
Scientists are too close to the problem half of the time to see simple solutions. Other times they just refuse to accept it. Other times Pharms don't want solutions to see the light of day and LIE to the government and the people about it. BUT... if they do release it, they'll make sure they milk everyone they can get away with in the name of profits. Sadly, This girl has probably seen all the money she's ever going to see for her research and results, while the pharms will take her research and run to do with it as they please and can get away with.
Having a ninth grader identify, develop, research and essentially prove what turns out to be an obvious approach to cancer cell eradication (one that more experienced medical researchers should have seen long ago) - and a basic concept (targeting cancer cells) that medical research has been working on less than successfully for decades - tell us the quality of not so much our medical research community (of which Zhang is now a significant member) - but says more the system that limits our medical research.
It's "Et voila". I can understand (maybe) not having the proper letter "a" (even though it's in the Character Map program). Heck, this ridiculous BB Code won't let me use the proper a with the grave accent. But to leave out the "t"? Surely you must have Google available in your office to check spelling of foreign phrases, no? I mean, why use an unnecessary phrase without being [b]absolutely sure[/b] that you've gotten it right? It already seems pretentious to use "et voila"... and to get it wrong just makes it seem that much worse.
Been listening to NPR about Gene therapy that trains our immune system to fight, you can go to NPR.org and see videos also listened to a young woman recently that had advanced breast cancer and was cured by therapy for her immune system and about it could cure Alzheimers
That's far from good enough. It will only allow the remaining cancer to grow stronger. How will she get the polymer to attach to the nanoparticle? How will she make the nanoparticle find the cancercell? How will she get the nanoparticle to attach to the cancercell and only to it? And when the infrared beam, which as we all know will spread and diffuse as soon as it hits the outer layer of the skin, releases the toxins, how will she stop them entering healthy cells? How much toxin is not too much and not too little for each and every individual cancercell. I could go on, but You get the picture. It would have been nice if she really had been on to something, but it takes more than a teenager, who has a thing about shoes, to do serious research. It does, however, remind me of an idea I had as a teenager. You would take a stemcell close to it's dividing time, enclose it in a bioactive monomere, attach it to a nanoparticle which would then attach itself to a braincell. You would then activate the monomere with a doubleresonant helium4-plasmagun (which does not diffuse), and the stemcell would attach itself to a braincell and allow it to triplicate. This could be a cure for Alzheimers disease, the feebleminded and it could, just possibly, be a cure that could prevent [s]silly and fantasydriven[/s] reports like this from emerging. Unfortunately I never got 100000$ to try out this idea in practice.
Considering all the crap that get's "fast-tracked" for Big Pharma, this young Lady's concept, which has already passed one very specific double-blind test with the mice, (and I just realized that's "Double-Blind Mice")should be tested, at least, as speedily. The science seems pretty sound, and what's interesting is it doesn't replace existing therapies, but simply makes them work better. Good for her!
LIFE IS A GIFT AND WHAT YOU DO WITH THIS GIFT IS WHAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. ENJOY THIS GOD GIVEN GIFT WITH DIGNITY AND RESPECT BECAUSE THIS GIFT CAN ALSO BE TAKEN AWAY FROM YOU AT THE BLINK OF AN EYE. GOD BLESS US ALL AND GOD BLESS THIS YOUNG LADY AND THE REST MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH THIS GIFT.
Hi fragmannyc, Thanks for your kind correction. I have updated the post. I would hate for you to have more pretentiousness than was necessary in your life. Laura
The questions you posed are good for guiding further research that this article states is needed. This is not a silly proposal.
Do you honestly think all of the science involved was put into this video? There is obviously way more behind the technology they they would put into a CNN report. Sounds to me like you're mad about her idea being clearly better than yours.
why do you take the credit due this intelligent young beautiful woman and summarily give it to god ?
In what way is my idea worse than hers? If You look down on intelligence then You also look down on her. My idea was no worse nor better than hers, it was just in a different area. Which would You say is more beneficial and important for mankind; a cure for cancer or more intelligence? The second can bring the first, but not the other way. And I do [b]not[/b] base my opinion on the video or even this article. I base it on the information I have found about that project on several other, more indepth articles. I'm not one of those who has an opinion just because they think they ought to have one. I always do research before I say anything at all. Which is why I don't post articles very often. And for the record, I don't hate her in any way, I don't hate anyone, life is too short to waste on hate, when you can do so much good instead. It would have been very nice if she had been right, and in that case I would have submitted her for a Nobel prize in medicine. But based on the experimental results so far; no, not yet. @genensandy -No, it's not a [b]silly[/b] proposal, it's just one that will not work the way she thinks. But she has the open mind and determination to maybe succeed in some other way.