Now, magnets that force cancer cells to 'commit suicide'

Now, magnets that force cancer cells to 'commit suicide'

Researchers have created a potent new cancer-buster treatment which uses a powerful magnetic pulse that forces tumour cells to “self destruct”.

The breakthrough treatment triggers the diseased cells to effectively commit suicide, blasting away the killer cancer from within.

Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is one of the body’s ways of getting rid of old, faulty or infected cells. This process is often blocked, which is why some drugs do not work, allowing tumour cells to keep dividing and spread.

The new treatment works by using tiny iron nanoparticles attached to antibodies which bind to receptor molecules on tumour cells, the Daily Express reported.

When the magnetic field is turned on, the molecules cluster together, triggering the “death signal”.

The process raises the hope of new targeted treatments that could kill tumour cells resistant to programmed cell death.

Scientists at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, found in laboratory tests that over half of bowel cancer cells exposed to the nanoparticles and put between two magnets were destroyed by magnetic activation while untreated cells were not affected.

The research was published in the journal Nature Materials.

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