The present invention is a method for detecting and destroying cancer tumors. The method is based on the concept of associating a linking protein or linking peptide such as, but not limited to, annexin V or other annexins to carbon nanotubes such as single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) to form a protein-CNT complex. Said linking protein or peptide can selectively bind to cancerous cells, especially tumor vasculature endothelial cells, rather than to healthy ones by binding to cancer-specific external receptors such as anionic phospholipids including phosphatidylserine expressed on the outer surfaces of cancer cells only. Irradiation of bound CNTs with one or more specific electromagnetic wavelengths is then used to detect and destroy those cells to which the CNTs are bound via the linking protein or peptide thereby destroying the tumor or cancer cells and preferably an immunostimulant is provided to the patient to enhance the immune response against antigens released from the tumor or cancer cells.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under Grant No. DE-FG02-06ER64239 awarded by the Department of Energy and Grant No. W81XWH-07-1-0563 awarded by the Department of Defense. The Government has certain rights in the invention.