Narrator: This is Science Today. Imagine wearing a patch that can deliver localized, non-toxic cancer therapy? Chemists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have developed a way to do this by designing novel light-sensitive compounds that are absorbed by cancer cells and when triggered by specific wavelengths of light, they release nitric oxide, which triggers cell death.
Mascharak: It is not kind of a pipe dream type of approach because we have nicotine patch. You have hormone patches. So, I mean we are not really designing something completely out of the way, but it is just a clever use of certain compounds and certain properties of the compounds to deliver a certain molecule to a certain site.
Narrator: Pradip Mascharak, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz, says patch delivery has advantages.
Mascharak: For example, in case of skin cancer, a typical basal cell carcinoma can spread to a wide area, say on your skin. Surgery is not an option because you have cosmetic damage.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.