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After years of animal testing, researchers at Penn State have developed a therapy to treat some of the most resistant cancers without damaging any healthy cells, and that treatment is now in the early stages of testing on humans.
James and Bernadette Adair are both scientists and researchers at Penn State University. Married 27 years, they've loved doing everything together, except battling cancer. Bernie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007.
Bernie says, "We were still dealing with me when Jim was diagnosed."
Doctors found Jim's colon cancer in 2008. Both were treated, and are now cancer-free. Ironically, even before his or his wife's diagnosis, Jim's had been working to develop a new treatment for cancer through nanotechnology; manipulating cells at the molecular level. It's called Ceramide nanoliposome.
Jim says, "It was at that time an experimental chemotherapeutic that had unique properties."
The Ceramide nanoliposome is infused into the body. Because of the tiny size and structure, the nanoparticles travel easily through the body and can slip into tumors; killing the deadly cells and leaving healthy cells intact. Jim formed a separate company, Keystone Nano, to continue the research; especially for cancers that have few other effective treatments, like liver cancer.
Jeff Davidson, CEO, Keystone Nano says, "The animal models have shown great efficacy against that cancer."
Jim says, "Kill the cancer, do no harm to the patient. To someone like me who is a cancer survivor. That's awesome."
A development that's a decade too late for Jim and Bernie, but may help countless cancer patients live full lives down the road.
The therapy has been approved by the FDA for phase one clinical trials. Researchers are testing the dosing levels on cancer patients for whom other therapies have not worked.