Silver can also be effective in fighting certain types of cancer, such as chemotherapy, but with fewer side effects, as shown by a new study. Metal has long been known for its healing properties and is widely used in medicine as an antiseptic, antibiotic, and means for water purification in developing countries.
Now British investigators reported that the silver particles as effective in destroying certain types of cancer cells as a method of chemotherapy, but with minor side effects.
They compared the silver with the drug Cisplatin, which is currently used to treat a variety of cancers, but is known to have severe side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and even renal failure.
Silver is also used for the production of daily products such as deodorant, which have no side effects, so it can potentially be a cheap alternative to drug Cisplatin, created based on platinum.
Researchers from the University of Leeds conducted a series of laboratory tests in which cancer cells are subjected to breast and bowel effects of various chemicals on the basis of silver, for six days.
Results published papers Dalton Transactions, showed that these components have silver "same effect as Cisplatin" against cancer cells without causing severe side effects.
Research team has yet to find out exactly how silver affects the cancer, but so far, they suggest that the effectiveness of the metal can be related to the structure surrounding the silver atoms, which is known as a ligand. Scientists believe that the silver ions into the cells, where a component is introduced into the body, destroying, so some types of cancer.
The main author of the Villans Dr. Charlotte (Charlotte Willans), plans next year to look in detail at how silver affects the cancer and healthy cells of the body and whether it can be a safe and effective new anti-cancer drug.
Villans noted: "This is certainly an amazing discovery, but in the future we have a lot of work. These results give us the opportunity to apply for grants for further research that could lead to cheaper, less toxic alternative cancer drugs used in medicine today. "
Detailing the study, Dr. Villans added: "Unfortunately, many people know that chemotherapy may be the most debilitating method for the patient. Finding effective non-toxic drugs are long-standing problem, and perhaps our preliminary results will be the beginning of their solutions. In our study we investigated the structure of which surround the central atom of silver. this "areolae" and determines how it is reactive and the force with which to interact. We used different types of these ligands to determine which one is most effective against cancer cells. "