WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- Scientists may have hit the jackpot. According to a new study, a combination of small gold particles and compounds found in tea could be more effective at fighting cancer than chemotherapy.
The study, which was published in the July 16 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that scientists from the University of Missouri have figured out a way to target prostate tumors by using both radioactive gold nanoparticles and a compound found in tea leaves, called Epigallocatechin (EGCG).
Researchers followed mice with human prostate cells and found that tumors shrunk by 80% within 28 days of treatment.
The injected gold nanoparticles are smaller than typical chemotherapy. It travels directly to the tumor source and hits them with radiation without causing harm to other ares, according to the study.
The study shows that because the radioactivity from the gold last for three weeks, scientist were able to treat the cancer more effectively and with a dose that was thousands of times less than what is given with chemo.
With chemotherapy, large amounts of chemo passes through the body to help eradicate cancer cells by shrinking tumors, but unlike the gold and tea combination, chemo destroys healthy areas in the path.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that around 215,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the U.S. and over 28,000 men in the US died from prostate cancer. These numbers were reported in 2008 and are the most recent.