Bioactive Glasses for Cancer Therapy

Yinan Lin, John C. Mauro, Gurbinder Kaur

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body. The goal of treatment is to kill as many cancerous cells while reducing damage to normal cells nearby. Currently, radiotherapy and chemotherapy have been the major treatment methodology for malignant tumors. External beam radiation is involved in treating many forms of cancer; however, the maximum dose that can be delivered to malignant tumors is limited by the unavoidable damage inflicted on nearby health tissue and is too small to be effective. Nowadays, the incorporation of radionuclides such as 90Yttrium in bioactive glasses (BGs) could generate a revolutionary era for cancer therapy, delivering high levels of local radiation to kill cancer cells in organs like the liver, to achieving a successful glass delivery system for the radiation. The attractive properties of BGs as drug carrier materials, such as their ability to enhance the growth of new healthy tissues after the treatment with radionuclides, with high biocompatibility and controlled biodegradability, have been well documented for decades. Various potential applications of BGs for cancer treatment will be discussed in this chapter. The second part of this chapter documents hyperthermia and brachytherapy indicating a promising prominence in cancer treatment application, especially for prostate cancer and liver cancer. Hyperthermia has been regarded as an auxiliary therapy for cancer treatment, while brachytherapy uses BG microspheres as drug carriers to convey beta radiation emission into the cancerous tissue via injection. The main compositions of biocompatible glasses used in hyperthermia are discussed, including their magnetic and biological properties. In addition, a few glasses with suitable radiological properties for potential treatment of prostate cancer and liver cancer are reviewed. The success of these revolutionary approaches to cancer therapy is saving the lives of thousands of patients and provides a methodology to target other debilitating diseases that affect the quality of life of aging individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomedical, Therapeutic and Clinical Applications of Bioactive Glasses
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9780081021965
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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