Great effort, real science!
But I fear we'll see a surge in woo-merchants peddling their phoney "magnetic therapy" treatments.
A team of researchers in Australia and Scotland has designed an iron core for the anti-cancer drug Cisplatin, so that it can be dragged by magnets to wherever in your body it can do its best work. The team’s work is detailed in a new paper,Cisplatin drug delivery using gold-coated iron oxide nanoparticles for enhanced tumour …
If they can implant the magnet, then they can excise the tumour..
The problem I see with the scheme is that the particles will be strongly attracted to cluster on the magnet surface, reducing availability at the edges of the tumour. Maybe if they had magnetised particles they could then use an electromagnet and attract/repel with a waveform designed according to the size of the tumour
"If they can implant the magnet, then they can excise the tumour.."
Not necessarily. Knowing where the central mass of the tumour is does not tell you where it's boundaries are and that is a common problem in surgical removal tumours and because of it surgeons often remove healthy tissue to err on the safe side. Anything that concentrates cancer drugs in tumours is to be welcomed. The future lies not in ever more drugs but in delivery vehicles to target only cancer cells, like this or caged molecules that only release their cargo when they encounter a cancerous cell. Along with relatively mundane changes already in the clinic such as giving chemo at the most effective time of day. As well as genotyping of tumours and liver enzymes so that only those who can benefit are given certain drugs and the dose is more closely tuned to your metabolism. These measures are already saving lives.
A similar kind of approach has been used with antibodies to tumours with attached 'lethal' payloads. It's more specific and can 'auto-locate' all the tumour cells - but it's very expensive to generate the pure antibody and attach the payload. This approach looks a lot cheaper ( I wish) and even if not as specific might be a lot better than conventional treatment with cytotoxic agents.
I heard another magnetic tumour killer on Radio 4 last year. I think it was Edinburgh Uni doing this one, and it was for brain tumours that can't be operated on.
You attached iron particles to some delivery mechanism that heads for the tumour. Either an antibody or something else. They all gather in the tumour. Then you bung their head in a giant electro-magnet. Whizz, round and round the particles go. The friction cooks the tumour from the inside. And then it either dies off, or is more susceptible to radiotherapy/drugs.
Interestingly another effect was that the iron stays in place. So if the tumour comes back, you've already got your cooker in place, so you just bung the patient back in the magnet, rinse and repeat.
Cancer's such a complicated thing, that I doubt there's going to be a cure turning up any time soon. Btu there are so many advances in treatment, and understanding, going on in so many parallel fields, that treatment is going to keep improving for a long while.
Q: So, can the patient ever have an MRI again after introducing ferric compounds into the body? I'd ass+u+me "yes, with some precautions/ safeguards in place", but I ain't a docta' .
Re: "superb diagram" (Mike Holden 1): it appears that this spiffy graphic was part of the submitted paper, so perhaps /that/ intended audience might have been perceived as unclear on the concept ("Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a physicist/ engineer/ magnet guy").
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