PUMPING IRONY: Discovering Gold

I’m all for advances in cancer research — so long as I never have to make use of them.

I know my prostate ain’t what it used to be, but I’ve always been leery of PSA tests and any other approach that involves doctors poking around in that part of my body. But I don’t have a cancer diagnosis and I’m not facing the kind of decision millions of men have to face each year (prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of death among American men) when the big “C” word comes out. So I don’t quite know what to think of news released yesterday by University of Missouri scientists about a radical new approach to prostate cancer treatment.

Gold Mine

Researchers reported that aggressive prostate cancer tumors were significantly reduced in mice by injecting them with radioactive gold nanoparticles. “These findings have formed a solid foundation, and we hope to translate the utility of this novel nanomedicine therapy to treating human cancer patients,” said Kattesh Katti, a professor of radiology and physics at the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

The upside of this treatment approach, according Katti, is that doctors can avoid using massive doses of chemotherapy and radiation to combat aggressive tumors — a technique that often results in serious side effects. The downside, in my humble opinion, is that you’re, well . . .  injecting radioactive gold nanoparticles into my body.

Most prostate cancer tumors grow very slowly and you can pretty much just leave them be, which is a comforting thought to this geezer. I’m all for advances in cancer research — so long as I never have to make use of them.

, an Experience Life deputy editor, explores the joys and challenges of aging well.

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