Burning Rogue Cells With Magnetic Pulse to Fight Cancer
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07 December 2010
British scientists have claimed that cancer could be "burned up" with a new technique which uses magnetic pulses to heat tumour cells until they die.
A team, led by University College London, has found the technique, known as hyperthermia therapy, can be used to surround cancer cells with tiny particles of iron oxide that vibrate when in magnetic field, causing the cells to heat up.
In fact, tests in mice have shown this can raise the temperature of the tumour cells by six degrees above body temperature, around the point when cancer cells start to die, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.
According to the scientists, the therapy will allow them to target cancer cells in the body and kill them without harming the surrounding tossed or causing the side effects of chemotherapy drugs and radiotherapy. They say they can target the iron oxide particles to tumoursby putting them inside stem cells from bone marrow that naturally home in on cancer in the body.
"If you heat cancer cells up to 43 they start to die. Our natural body temperature is 37 C. The technique that we areusing,we are ableto reach that threshold," Sam Janes, who led the team, said.