This clinical study, published in September 2010 in the International Journal of Nanomedicine, confirms the antitumor properties of silver nanoparticles, and suggests they may be a cost-effective alternative in the treatment of cancer.

According to the study authors, “The present study demonstrates the efficacy of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) as an antitumor agent using Dalton’s lymphoma ascites (DLA) cell lines in vitro and in vivo. The AgNPs showed dose-dependent cytotoxicity against DLA cells through activation of the caspase 3 enzyme, leading to induction of apoptosis which was further confirmed through resulting nuclear fragmentation. Acute toxicity, i.e., convulsions, hyperactivity and chronic toxicity such as increased body weight and abnormal hematologic parameters did not occur.” In other words, silver nanoparticles not only caused the cancer cells to self-destruct – both in the test tube model and in the animal model in which breast cancer was induced in mice — but when tested in the animal model the silver caused no signs of toxicity or harm to the test subjects. This led the study authors to conclude, “Taken together, our data suggest that silver nanoparticles can induce cytotoxic effects on DLA cells, inhibiting tumor progression and thereby effectively controlling disease progression without toxicity to normal cells.”

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