Scientists at the University of Manchester found that graphene oxide may act as an anti-cancer agent that selectively targets cancer stem cells (CSCs). In combination with existing treatments, this could eventually lead to tumor shrinkage as well as preventing the spread of cancer and its recurrence after treatment.
The team prepared a variety of graphene oxide formulations for testing against six different cancer types - breast, pancreatic, lung, brain, ovarian and prostate. The flakes inhibited the formation of tumor sphere formation in all six types, suggesting that graphene oxide can be effective across a large number of different cancers, by blocking processes which take place at the surface of the cells. The researchers suggest that this may deliver a better overall clinical outcome when used in combination with conventional cancer treatments.