Sperm may be uniquely equipped to deliver chemo to cervical cancer cells

Researchers are studying the use of sperm cells as micromotors for delivering chemotherapy to cervical cancer patients.

Sperm on the hunt (TATIANA SHEPELEVA via SHUTTERSTOCK)

One of the obvious problems with conventional chemotherapy is that it’s essentially poison formulated to kill cancer cells without killing the patient. While chemo is often the only available treatment option, it’s extremely rough on patients, causing debilitating exhaustion, weakness, and nausea. As a result, it can only be administered in limited doses. In addition, chemo can be diluted by body fluids and be broken down and weakened by enzymes. Now a team of scientists at Leibnitz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research are exploring a new way to aim cancer medications with greater precision directly at tumors while reducing side effects, thus making it safe to administer higher, more effective doses. That new way? Sperm cells.

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