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Magnetic Nanoparticles Fry Tumors

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the fried-tumors-are-a-delicacy-in-the-south dept.

Medicine 111

sciencehabit writes "In a new study, a team found that injecting mice with tiny magnets and cranking up the heat eliminated tumors from the animals' bodies with no apparent side effects. The nanoparticles heat up when a magnetic field is applied, and because they are only injected into tumors, only cancerous cells get fried. Researchers hope the technique, known as magnetic hyperthermia, could be used in cancer patients, obviating the need for chemotherapy and radiation."

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obligatory ftfy (5, Funny)

cheeks5965 (1682996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638148)

"In a new study, a team found that injecting mice with tiny magnets and cranking up the heat created a new breed of super mice that banded together to fight super villain mutants

Re:obligatory ftfy (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638518)

It's only funny until the mice try to take over the world.

Re:obligatory ftfy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638576)

I, for one, welcome our new magnetic mutant mouse overlords.

Re:obligatory ftfy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638830)

narf!

Re:obligatory ftfy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639024)

PAYPWIP?

Re:obligatory ftfy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639120)

I for one welcome our new mutant mice overlords.

Re:obligatory ftfy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36641412)

I for one, embrace our Magnetic Mice overlords!!!

I hope none of the researchers were bitten (2)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638158)

What's Magneto's back story again?

Re:I hope none of the researchers were bitten (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638198)

In the vein of trying everything once, just to be sure, Magneto decided on the less obvious route when confronted with the question "Are we X-Men or are we mice?"

Re:I hope none of the researchers were bitten (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638218)

We are DEVO!

Next step.. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638182)

I wonder how feasible injecting it directly into the tumor is. They need some kind of delivery agent that's preferentially absorbed by cancer cells, then you can just take a pill, walk into a magnetic field, and presto curo.

Re:Next step.. (4, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638224)

The problem is targeting only the tumour with the pill contents. If we had the ability to deliver oral drugs -only- to a tumour, then we could just use targeted chemo treatments and everything would be fine. Unfortunately, it's not that simple, so we need alternatives.

Part of the problem with turmours is that cutting anything out can spread the tumour by leaving mobile particles and injecting drugs directly allows them to spread to other (life-essential) organs.

Because these magnetic particles are less mobile than drugs, there is a good chance they'll tend to stay put and only damage the tumour and local tissue, rather than harming the organism as a whole.

Re:Next step.. (5, Funny)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638298)

To my way of thinking, if the tumor is bad enough that it can swallow a pill, you may as well just give up.

Re:Next step.. (1)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640478)

Thats nothing, i once had a tumor that had to have his own cancer treatment.

Re:Next step.. (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638350)

Really good point, I'm hopeful about the research. It reminds me of radioactive seeding, but without, you know, the radiation. Same net effect, less super damaging radiation hurting the rest of your body.

Re:Next step.. (1)

tanderson92 (1636327) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640886)

Because these magnetic particles are less mobile than drugs, there is a good chance they'll tend to stay put and only damage the tumour and local tissue, rather than harming the organism as a whole.

The solution to this is to use guided magnetic targeting. Basically, drugs are encapsulated in a magnetic nanoparticle and injected into the bloodstream relatively close to the cancer site. A magnetic field focusing on the cancer site attracts these particles [nih.gov] and the drugs for the most part do not reach non-cancerous parts of the body

Re:Next step.. (1)

Ruke (857276) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638304)

I certainly seem to recall hearing about things like this before; I had a high-school chemistry teacher, 10 years ago, saying that he had gotten his PhD in mechanical engineering by doing work on injecting tumors with glass/ceramic beads, and heating those with radiation. (He did the thermodynamics, which was apparently a real bitch because of all of the blood flowing everywhere.) He must have done the work for that degree something like 15 years ago, so the idea of "inject [thing], heat tumor" itself is not terribly new. If they've found a good way of isolating the tumor, and keeping the nanoparticles out of surrounding tissue, that would be novel and impressive.

Re:Next step.. (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638368)

I think the big thing is this doesn't involve radiation, so the treatments aren't causing the nasty side effects. Overall, very similar to a lot of other treatments too, but the lack of any radiation is the big selling point.

Re:Next step.. (3, Informative)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638692)

That's not a big thing. We've had ways to do this for decades. More than 20 years ago I did work in Photodynamic Therapy (injecting dyes into tumors. When you shine a light on the dyes, they produce oxygen radicals which kill the cells). We have lots and lots of ways to kill a specific tumor. This is just one more of many wrenches in our toolbox.

The hard part is designing a therapy which destroys only tumor cells, while leaving normal cells alone. Preserving needed tissue in critical spots (the brain, etc), while allowing it to hunt down individual rogue cells which may have metastasized and be trying to start a new tumor elsewhere in the body.

That's the the are where we need to focus.

Re:Next step.. (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639358)

More than 20 years ago I did work in Photodynamic Therapy (injecting dyes into tumors. When you shine a light on the dyes, they produce oxygen radicals which kill the cells).

That's really cool! However, was it an invasive procedure? Or were you able to use something like a fiber optic light? I am a lay person for the most part; other than working on PACS/RIS/HIS software for about 5 years.

Re:Next step.. (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639502)

Interesting. Was the research primarily at targeting melanoma?

Re:Next step.. (1)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639618)

No, the most of the emphasis at the time was on use for tumors of the retina. There were hopes, of course it would end up being used in a wide variety of tumors. It has been, but to a very limited extent. It's ended up being mainly used for tumors in the lungs or upper GI tract.

Re:Next step.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639744)

Amen brother. Any fool can kill a tumor if he knows where it is. The hard part is the targeting--actually finding the bad cells. The best treatments do both the targeting and the killing.

It's called eating vegetables and vitamin D (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640600)

http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article24.aspx [drfuhrman.com]
"According to the CDC, only one-third of U.S. adults eat two or more servings of fruit per day, and only one-quarter of adults eat three or more servings of vegetables per day. These minimal amounts cannot be expected to provide disease protection. I recommend a far more substantial intake of fruits and vegetables with 90 percent of calories coming from nutrient rich plant material, lots of it raw and green. I recommend about two pounds of vegetables and at least 4 fresh fruits per day. Most importantly, attention should be paid to the highly cancer-protective plant foods, greens, onion, berries, beans and seeds. ... The most recent scientific advancement in the anti-cancer research is the identification of specific foods and food elements that offer powerful protection against cancer. These foods are essential for both prevention of cancer and also increased odds of survival after diagnosis. Harmful foods and supplements have also been identified, and avoiding or minimizing these is equally as important. ... All vegetables are not equally protective. Epidemiological studies suggest that cruciferous vegetables, onions, and mushrooms are far more protective against cancer than vegetables overall - inverse relationships between cruciferous vegetable intake and breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancers have been found. For example, in one prospective study, one or more servings per week of cabbage reduced the risk of pancreatic cancer by 38% This was only one serving a week, which demonstrates that dramatic protection is available and real when a diet is ideally designed. The regular consumption of mushrooms has been demonstrated to decrease risk of breast cancer by over 60 percent. Onions, berries, seeds and beans also have dramatic beneficial effects. Beans in general, not just soy, are beneficial for protecting against reproductive cancers such as breast and prostate cancer.

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/ [vitamindcouncil.org]
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/study-vitamin-d-kills-cancer-cells/story?id=9904415 [go.com]
"Doctors have known that low levels of vitamin D are linked to certain kinds of cancers as well as to diabetes and asthma, but new research also shows that the vitamin can kill human cancer cells. The results fall short of an immediate cancer cure, but they are encouraging, medical professionals say. JoEllen Welsh, a researcher with the State University of New York at Albany, has studied the effects of vitamin D for 25 years. Part of her research involves taking human breast cancer cells and treating them with a potent form of vitamin D. Within a few days, half the cancer cells shriveled up and died. Welsh said the vitamin has the same effect as a drug used for breast cancer treatment. "What happens is that vitamin D enters the cells and triggers the cell death process," she told "Good Morning America." "It's similar to what we see when we treat cells with Tamoxifen," a drug used to treat breast cancer. "

You can either get your chemotherapy every day from the phytonutrients in vegetables, fruits, and beans, and also vitamin D, or you can pay some oncologist a lot of money when you are older for iffy results.

Re:It's called eating vegetables and vitamin D (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640950)

Parent should be moderated Score:5,Funny

All these crazy cancer drugs and chemotherapy and all you really needed is a vitamin D injection. Gosh scientists are stupid!

Re:It's called eating vegetables and vitamin D (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642242)

Quoting Marcia Angell:
http://www.pdfernhout.net/to-james-randi-on-skepticism-about-mainstream-science.html#Some_quotes_on_social_problems_in_science [pdfernhout.net]
"The problems I've discussed are not limited to psychiatry, although they reach their most florid form there. Similar conflicts of interest and biases exist in virtually every field of medicine, particularly those that rely heavily on drugs or devices. It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine."

For example:
http://www.news-medical.net/news/20110701/Bone-fusion-drug-comes-under-scrutiny-due-to-researcherse28099-vested-interests.aspx [news-medical.net]
"The Spine Journal has dedicated its June issue to a series of papers that carefully reject previous research supporting the use of Infuse, a controversial, but popular bone growth product commonly used in spinal fusion surgeries.
    Infuse is used in a quarter of the estimated 432,000 spinal fusions performed in the U.S. each year. In a new study in The Spine Journal experts assert that the data backing Infuse's widespread use were published by researchers who received large sums of money from its maker, Medtronic, and who exaggerated the product's benefits while concealing its risks. Fifteen of the surgeons got at least $62 million from the company over the past decade, the paper said, citing an analysis of Medtronic documents and disclosures on the company's website.
    The purported side effects, they said, include male sterility, infection, bone loss and unwanted bone growth. A stronger version of Infuse, called Amplify, was recently rejected for approval by the FDA because of concerns about possible cancer risks"

If you eat well, and you take the right amount of vitamin D (typically, from a pill), and you do some other good things, then your risk of most cancers drops way, way down. And you also reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and dementia. What is not to like?

From what I read, it seems a lot of the cancer treatments you can get at an onocologist don't really statistically promote survival all that much (although some are indeed better than others). The problem is, once you have cancer, stuff like vitamin D and vegetables is not going to work so well. So, you really want to prevent cancer as much as possible. If there was a drug that a doctor, based on research, could say take this drug every day and your risk of all cancers on average goes down by, say, 50% or more, what would you pay for it? Well, take your vitamin D and eat well (lots of vegetables as Dr. Fuhrman suggests) and that is what you will probably find (maybe not that exact percent, and it depends on the cancer). And at no extra charge, you will reverse heart disease and get other good benefits.

Instead, people seek for the magic bullets and kids grow up eating junk. Very sad. But we've built a sick care system where the profit is in palliation not prevention, in treatment but not cure. We need to build a true health care system someday that promotes wellness.

From:
http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03076/A-Health-Care-Call-to-Action-by-Andrew-Weil-MD.html [drweil.com]
"We currently have an expensive system that is not making people well. While there has been tremendous debate over access and payment, there has been less focus on the content of health care. Without a change in that content, we will never have a sustainable system; all attempts at reform will be taken down by unmanageable costs."

Re:It's called eating vegetables and vitamin D (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640960)

Google "kills cancer cells". Apparently garlic, vitamin c, lemon juice, curry spice Turmeric and breast milk all kill cancer cells.

Re:Next step.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36640924)

Your teacher had a PhD in Mechanical Engineering and decides to take a low paying high school chemistry teacher position? That doesn't make much sense, are you sure you're not just making up this story?

Re:Next step.. (2)

tloh (451585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638582)

Not as hard as you think.

Many existing cancer therapies are remarkably targeted. We've been able to take advantage of the fact that cancerous cells often exhibit abnormal cell surface markers. Monoclonal antibodies would be engineered to manifest high affinity for these abnormal markers. These antibodies can be bio-chemically fitted with highly toxic drugs that would kill the locally cancerous cells while minimally damaging farther healthy cells.

The thing I'm trying to figure out is how you can safely remove the nano-particles from the body after their mission is complete.

Re:Next step.. (1)

carpenoctem63141 (2266368) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638932)

They're probably tested to make sure that they are cleared from the body the same way anything else is.

Re:Next step.. (1)

tloh (451585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639048)

How's that? I mean, how does your body dispose of them *AFTER* they've done the cancer fighting bit but not before. Otherwise, being shot up with the stuff is just completely ineffectual as treatment. I've worked as a manufacturing technician producing small clinical batches of these so-called conjugated antibodies. I can tell you that even after they've been formulated and packaged up, the handling protocol is still ridiculously strict to minimize exposure. These things are hazardous every which way. Great for fighting cancer, but a pain in the ass before (manufacturing/storage/delivery) and after (clearing from the body after administration) they get to work. I have a bit of experience with the "before" part, but I wonder about the "after" part.

Re:Next step.. (1)

carpenoctem63141 (2266368) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639162)

It depends how large the nanoparticles are, I suppose. Down to a certain size and they can just be filtered out by the kidneys. I have some minor experience working with iron oxide nanoparticles to be used as MRI contrast agents and I believe there was just a window of time during which the MRI could be done and then after a few days the particles would be cleared from the bloodstream. To be honest, I didn't really think too much about it and was kind of shooting off the cuff. Obviously a lot depends on the size and type of the nanoparticles, how they are injected, and how they targeted the tumors. Being too lazy to RTFA, I don't really know what they did in this case.

Re:Next step.. (1)

byornski (1022169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639738)

Perhaps the reason they don't want you rubbing your hands through them before they go through patients is to avoid your(and any other accidental) contamination

Re:Next step.. (1)

tloh (451585) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640244)

You sound like you might have experience working in a federally regulated environment. ;-)
Yes, contamination, obviously cuts both ways. In fact, when we inspect each vial before they are labeled and packaged, my colleagues and I are one of the last lines of defense against product contamination of any kind. Before being qualified to work in our area, candidates undergo an intensive three week training to become proficient at spotting biological contamination, micrometer sized foreign particulates, etc. in all vials produced at our plant. Trust me, by the time the vials reach us, they are (should be) sealed securely enough that we don't introduce anything into the vials. The strict handling protocol I referred to earlier is largely for our protection when vials are inevitably broken during handling. As I said before, the antibodies are conjugated to some pretty nasty molecules. They have to be in order to be effective anti-cancer agents. If you are stricken with an aggressively growing tumor, having such nasty stuff inside you to help save your life isn't a hard choice to make. But for perfectly healthy manufacturing technicians, even casual or accidental exposure is a pretty raw deal given how good the antibody components are at finding and binding to certain parts of the body. You may not have any tumor tissue if you are healthy, but still..... We complain all the time about how stupid and tedious all the precautions are, but the protection we receive is indisputably first rate. So I wonder, the question I started this tread with: what about at the other end?

Re:Next step.. (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640984)

Your body is constantly repairing itself, breaking down dead cells and building new cells. White blood cells are responsible for the break down and disposal. The dead cancer cells and nanoparticles will be broken down by WBC and removed from the body thru your kidneys and urine. Google white blood cells for more information or go to medical school.

Re:Next step.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639060)

An MRI... oh, you mean like normal treatments that don't kill the patient n/m me.

Re:Next step.. (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638628)

I remembered reading about some work regarding this. I found an article [understandingnano.com] about the use of specially-designed nanoparticles with ligands matching proteins specific to prostate cancer cells. They were able to deliver the drug with a very high level of success compared to nanoparticles without the ligands and delivery of the drug without nanoparticles at all.

Perhaps combining that approach with the magnetic particles will provide a means of simply injecting the patient in a suitable location, waiting an appropriate time for the particles to be delivered, and then turning on the magnetic field.

Re:Next step.. (0)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638630)

This idea is crazy, inneficient, damaging, probably requires massive CT scanning and other lesser evils.., but the main problem remains, one cancer cell left behind can respawn the problem. From my POV the only real cure for cancer is giving the immune system markers of cancer cells so the immune system can destroy cancer itself. This can be done, cancer cells are different even if they look "healthy" to the body, we just need to find the way to signal their presence to the immune system and that is all folks.

Re:Next step.. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638688)

If you've got an inoperable tumour - and this technique leaves one cancer cell behind - you're onto a fucking winner.

Re:Next step.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638906)

you make it sound so easy... why, oh why, hasn't this been done already?!?

Re:Next step.. (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639136)

That has been done, several times, with varying results. Search for cancer vaccine.

Well two things (3, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639050)

Thing the first: In TFA, they tested this with brain cancer tumors transplanted onto mice, and the result was a 100% cure. Full remission.

Second thing: If this takes billions of cancer cells and reduces that number to a few hundred, then it's a treatment and not a cure. But still would be massively useful.

Re:Next step.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639674)

PROVENGE is that. Take samples of tumor and your white blood cells. Play with them in the lab until white blood cells attack tumor. Inject back into body. That is stupid simple explanation but, leaving out the complexity, it is correct in abstract.

It works for men with advance stage cancer but USA medical momentum (threat to established cancer therapy profits) won't allow its use in early stage patients until its gone through completely unnecessary 10 year trials. They would rather wait until your cancer is advanced...... DUH "Best health care system on earth". oh yeah

Depends on the type of cancer, I suppose (1)

ridgecritter (934252) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639218)

You can imagine functionalizing the surface of these nanoparticles with a) a precursor the cancer needs either uniquely or at much higher rate than normal cells to grow, or b) a binding antibody specific to the cancer. These could promote preferential nanoparticle binding or uptake, after which you apply the alternating B field for the local temperature increase.

Re:Next step.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639396)

I assume that this would be an alternative to radioactive injections rather than pills. As tumors are usually well vascularised the particles could be injected into a blood vessel leading into the tumor and they would become lodged in the capillaries (if they were the right size). It's not Star-Trek magic simple but it might avoid the hassles of dealing with radioactive material in a medical environment (and put me out of a job).

Imagine (1)

plover (150551) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638190)

Imagine the post-treatment MRI scan. Ouch!

Re:Imagine (1)

Rifter13 (773076) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638270)

I have a friend that had staples in here, after a surgery. Another doctor had an MRI done not long after that, and my friend, and the doctor at that point, discovered the staples. It was VERY unpleasant.

Re:Imagine (1)

slinches (1540051) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638568)

Wait ... I thought the MRI was the treatment.

Maybe it would even be possible to use fMRI to view and treat simultaneously.

Cool beans. (2)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638194)

Anything that cures a cancer is a super win.

However, this thing requires that you know from outside the body exactly where the tumor is, so that you can target the injection.

In order to do that you need (near) real-time imaging, and that means CT scan (you're not doing an invasive procedure with magnetic fluid anywhere near a running MRI).

CT scans are made of multiple X-rays, meaning a much higher total dose of radiation than your average X-ray.

And X-rays cause cancer. So you're trading one certain tumor for the risk of more tumors. Still a win, if this treatment is itself highly effective.

Re:Cool beans. (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638220)

I did not know cancer was nomadic and would move tween the time of the scans and the time of treatment

Re:Cool beans. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638268)

Every hear a cancer has metastasized? That's when it has spread from the original location. That's the really dangerous part of cancer (other than tumors in the brain or other hard to reach places). If you just had a tumor some place, removing it is easy enough. Worrying that some of the cancer cells may have metastasized and moved to a new location is the big worry, and the usual reason for chemotherapy. If the cancer is all one one spot, we've dot dozens of ways to kill a tumor in a specific location.

Re:Cool beans. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638310)

It can and does [wikipedia.org] . If it didn't, it would be much less of a problem.

Re:Cool beans. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638444)

For all the idiots talking about metastasizing cancer in respond to what the poster said, I believe he means in the time it takes to get an MRI done, then get wheeled down the hallway to a room where you can get your injection of magnetic particles.

Re:Cool beans. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638468)

To the idiot who doesn't realize it, a cell can metastasize away from a tumor at any time, and it can float down a lymph node and away from the tumor site in the minutes it takes you to get wheeled down the hallway. All it takes is one cell to begin a new tumor elsewhere in the body.

Re:Cool beans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638718)

one cell which won't even show up on a CT scan... better to just nuke the patient from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.

Re:Cool beans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638280)

I am not a bio student, but my friends have told me about the risk of CT scans. I was frankly surprised that the X-rays into your body are strong enough to create tumors.

Captcha: ontology

Re:Cool beans. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639736)

CT scans are trivial compared with the radiation doses often used to treat cancer. When I father in law was in hospital I used to walk past this room with a barrier in the door way warning people of radiation exposure if they came closer. This patient was the radiation source and his body was largely shielding passing people from radiation.

Re:Cool beans. (3, Insightful)

ryan420 (221788) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638308)

The fact that this approach would require initial radio-imaging (CT/MRI/PET) doesn't take away from its value. Most cancer patients have to have several rounds of CT/MRI/PET scans anyway. It's required to do the initial diagnosis/prognosis/staging/etc. So treating cancer in many cases is already about making this trade off. Radio-therapy (radiation) is a great example. You can kill off any remaining cancer cells, but you do so knowing there is a much greater probability for certain cancers down the road (particularly those cancers related to the thyroid).

Re:Cool beans. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638344)

MRI isn't radio imaging. It's magnetic. CT and PET can cause damage from the radiation they give you. MRI doesn't.

Re:Cool beans. (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638388)

Yup, the CT/MR/PT/MG is usually one of the ways that tumors are initially noticed; it's a small dose of radiation. There's always a risk, but a small dose of radiation when you already have cancerous tumors is probably the least of your worries. What would most likely happen is a scan a day or two before the procedure.

Re:Cool beans. (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638448)

>> You can kill off any remaining cancer cells, but you do so knowing there is a much greater probability for certain cancers down the road (particularly those cancers related to the thyroid).

I think you're overestimating the risk from medical scanning equipment. Unless you mean "a much greater probability" as a 0.001% increase in risk. Maybe.

I'll cure the hypothetical cancer I have right now, thank you.

Re:Cool beans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36641730)

He's talking about radiotherapy, you idiot. Learn to read.

Re:Cool beans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638552)

Yup.

PET/CT every 3 months for years.

But I have superpowers-- I can glow. And, I'm not dead yet.

Re:Cool beans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638372)

In order to do that you need (near) real-time imaging, and that means CT scan (you're not doing an invasive procedure with magnetic fluid anywhere near a running MRI).

There's something called Interventional Radiology that could be described as "real-time imaging". [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cool beans. (1)

element-o.p. (939033) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638522)

So you're trading one certain tumor for the risk of more tumors.

You raise some good points to consider, but in my opinion, the "You have a tumor now. We would like to discover where it's at so we can kill it. However, the imaging process *may* cause cancer some time down the road. Maybe. If something else doesn't kill you first." decision is pretty easy.

Re:Cool beans. (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638554)

It won't necessarily eliminate chemotherapy for this reason. First you have to find all the tumors, then make sure the magnetic particles encompass all the tumor and not leave some behind. Whereas chemotherapy is meant to kill and reduce that bits left behind. The magnetic particles idea seems more about reducing the need for surgery.

ultrasound also possible (1)

hibji (966961) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639032)

They can also use ultrasound to guide the needle/probe/injector to the tumor.

Re:Cool beans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639056)

Okay, you understand how radiation therapy works????????? You literally irradiate the tumor with a local lethal dose. If you are getting or know someone who is getting radiation therapy find a place that does proton radiation. Because it doesn't cause less damage along the beam path because the adjustable proton energy determines at what depth the beam irradiates. This is really important in the case of lung cancer near the heart and prostate cancer. This radiation is guided by taking a CT just before each treatment usually one every weekday. To keep the patient lined up the during the treatment the patient has a few tattoos which are lined up with a lasers. The prostate likes to move around so they may actual inject an RF ID tag in order to keep track of it. If you could trade this radiation for a couple of CT scans in one day plus effectively attack the tumor. No one would worry about the radiation dose because it is small in-comparison to the negative effects of Chemo plus radiation. I would think that even a few treatment would be a huge benefit. Remember you don't want to create large dead mass in a inside body ether because it can cause problems as it rots. As for getting nano particles into the cancer, lets look at what they are doing with dental implants. Research is being done on a robotic system that drills the jaw with the aid of CT scans. This allows for a very precise hole with an exact angle to be drilled. This type of machine could relatively easily be used to do precision injection into a patient.

Re:Cool beans. (2)

sharky611aol.com (682311) | more than 3 years ago | (#36641182)

Wrong.

Any procedure like this, especially in sensitive areas like the brain and spine, are done with 3D MRI topography guidance ("Look ma, no glasses!"). Look up STEALTH MRI if you're interested. You basically take high res MRIs with multiple markers placed on the surface of the subjects' skin for reference, then the computer does some fancy math and says "Put needle here, go this deep, then stop".

Quit the radiation fear mongering. And yes, IAAMD.

Re:Cool beans. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36642416)

On one hand, you have a tumor which, if untreated, is almost certain to kill you.

On the other, you have a fractional percentage increase in the chance that you may get a different cancer in the future. In all likelyhood that potential future cancer would be treatable too (and technology should improve by then).

The alternatives don't avoid the CT anyway. It'll still be used for staging and watching for recurrence.

Chemo and radiation are quite bad for you. Depending on the surgery, it too can have a high morbidity rate (long term side effects). Having a 4th option that doesn't have these side effects is a huge win

catch? (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638208)

So don't tell, the catch is that it's trickier getting these particles in the tumours in the first place?

And why don't the associated researchers barely ever post on slashdot? I mean come on, it's their stuff we're promoting/featuring. Really annoying.

Re:catch? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638492)

And why don't the associated researchers barely ever post on slashdot? I mean come on, it's their stuff we're promoting/featuring. Really annoying.

Presumably they don't have the time to waste hours arguing on the internet like the unix neckbeards, MCSE's and unemployed "open source developers" that hang out here.

capsiacin and tumor killing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638210)

Pepper component hot enough to trigger suicide in prostate tumor cells ( trivially safely )

eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-03/aafc-pch031306.php

IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638260)

Cool. Now lets patent the manufacture and application of these nanoparticles and crank the price to $18,000/mcg. You already did? Good work. Now get a Medicare/caid billing code; $45,000 a treatment. Cha-ching!

Limits (3, Insightful)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638352)

There are a few problems with this: 1-you need to know where the cancer is (so why not remove it?) so it can't be used on spreading multi organ cancers 2-you need to stick a needle into it (this isn't safe for some parts of the body) 3-it won't always get all the cancer, just the parts you can reach so this will probably leave cancerous cells in the body afterwards that will settle into some other organ to grow.

Re:Limits (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36642088)

There are a few problems with this: 1-you need to know where the cancer is (so why not remove it?) so it can't be used on spreading multi organ cancers 2-you need to stick a needle into it (this isn't safe for some parts of the body) 3-it won't always get all the cancer, just the parts you can reach so this will probably leave cancerous cells in the body afterwards that will settle into some other organ to grow.

So it's another therapy, not a panacea. In particular, if the cancer is near a important body parts, as in prostate cancer, this should have fewer side effects than a scalpel.

What? No 5 to 10 years? (1)

fl_litig8r (904972) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638378)

I thought it was obligatory in any "cancer cure" article to say that it is experimental and may only see practical application in 5 to 10 years. Of course, this is followed by never hearing about the "cure" again.

Re:What? No 5 to 10 years? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639110)

I don't know about you, but I hear about people being cured of cancer all the time. I know several people personally that have been cured of cancers that would have killed them 5 to 10 years earlier.

Sounds familair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638434)

Sounds very similar to the technique John Kanzius came up that uses RF energy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kanzius

Re:Sounds familair (1)

eddy_tn (144901) | more than 3 years ago | (#36641872)

Who the hell would moderate posts referencing Kanzius. It is entirely relevant to the discussion and is evidence of a trend in direct treatments of cancerous tumors. While Kanzius uses metal and nonmetal nanoparticles and an RF current, this treatment uses layered shells of magnetic materials which self-oscillate (so it seems) in the presence of a magnetic field generating heat from within rather than what seems to be ohmic loss through applied current.

Having read the poor abstract and the article at sciencemag, I haven't been able to determine the exact parameters of this application to the point of getting excited.

Kanzius machine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638472)

Does the same thing. Getting close to human clinical trials. Electric field rather than magnetic. Gold nanoparticles. MD Anderson researcher. Awesome idea.

fucking magnets (2)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638500)

What can't they do?

Also, I prefer the egg sandwich from the gas station approach.... well, at least if the cancer was in my pelvic splanchnic ganglion

Aperture Science Did this years ago (1)

Agamous Child (538344) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638648)

For this next test we put nanoparticles in the gel. In layman's terms, that's a billion little gizmos that are gonna travel into your bloodstream and pump experimental genes and RNA molecules and so forth into your tumours. Now maybe you don't have any tumours. Well don't worry, if you sat on a folding chair in the lobby and weren't wearing lead underpants we took care of that too. - Cave Johnson Aperture Science CEO

Re:Aperture Science Did this years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639028)

I was looking all over the comments for the Cave Johnson reference. Now I'm gonna burn your house down with the combustible lemons my engineers invented!

Re:Aperture Science Did this years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639044)

For this next test we're going to expose you to a magnetic beam beam so that the nanoparticles in your tumors can heat up and cook the tumor from the inside. Now maybe you don't have any tumours. Well don't worry, if you sat on a folding chair in the lobby and weren't wearing lead underpants we took care of that too. - Cave Johnson Aperture Science CEO

Prostate Cancer (4, Informative)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638748)

My father had a similar procedure to wipe out his prostate cancer. Metal beads injected into tumor, three low-power radio beams focused on the target, beams combine very focally, beads heat, tumor burns away. Macrophages clean up the mess. Dad totally cancer-free for a decade now and has none of the side effects of surgery. thanks University of Virginia!

Re:Prostate Cancer (1)

Geminii (954348) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640290)

SCIENCE!

Alternative to surgery, not to chemotherapy (1)

erice (13380) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638838)

If it has to be injected into the tumor than the tumors must still be identified. Chemo will still be needed to catch smaller tumors that are not identified. So it looks like a less invasive alternative to surgically removing tumors. Useful but a lot way from a cure for cancer.

Re:Alternative to surgery, not to chemotherapy (2)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639068)

Not necessarily?

If you use nanoparticles that carry an antibody tag that will collect and/or attach to the tumors, you can just flood the body with them for a few days. Wait for the overflow to pass out, then turn on the switch.

*VORP!*

All done in a few shots.

John Kanzius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36638840)

This method sounds strangely similar to the non invasive Radio wave treatment that John Kanzius was working on before his death. Dr. Steven Curley, a leading cancer researcher from the University of Texas has been continuing the research that involves gold nanoparticles being bombarded with radio waves. I believe they are currently in clinical trials already.

Not Entirely Original (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 3 years ago | (#36638948)

This is very close to the work of John Kanzius. [wikipedia.org]

From the recent paper...

The conversion of electromagnetic energy into heat by nanoparticles has the potential to be a powerful, non-invasive technique for biotechnology applications such as drug release, disease treatment and remote control of single cell functions, but poor conversion efficiencies have hindered practical applications so far.

From John Kanzius' Wikipedia page...

Kanzius RF Therapy is an experimental cancer treatment that employs a combination of either gold or carbon nanoparticles and radio waves to heat and destroy cancer cells without damaging healthy cells.

The specific absorption rate for radio waves by living tissue in the proposed wavelengths and intensity levels is very low. Metals absorb this energy much more efficiently than tissue through dielectric heating; Richard Smalley has suggested that carbon nanotubes could be used to similar purpose. If nanoparticles were to be preferentially bound to cancer sites, cancer cells could be destroyed or induced into apoptosis while leaving healthy tissue relatively unharmed.

One uses magnetic action, the other uses RF action.

Here is 1 of 3 videos of the "60 Minutes" episode on YouTube. [youtube.com]

I wonder if this might end up in a patent fight or worse?

Been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639634)

This approach has been used by various groups in the past several years. Sometimes the nanoparticles are attached to antigens which can bind to a select type of tumor cell and enter them releasing the nanoparticle and then they can be heated and lysed. The difficulty has always been selectivity, having the nanoparticles only target cancerous cells and not normal cells.

I just want to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36639676)

...if core/shell nano particles are carcinogenic?!?

not a silver bullet (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 3 years ago | (#36639774)

this is excellent news for sure but it's no silver bullet. one problem is that it requires you inject the magnetic particles into the tumor which can be tricky and if you miss, it's bad news. another is if you inject too much it will kill the surrounding tissue. you may think a little extra isnt too bad but when the tumor is in your brain, it matters. lastly, there doesnt seem to be any mention of being able to remove the particles. this is a problem if you ever want to have an MRI and not have them all ripped out of your body.

this may work for some cancers but not all.

Science is (1)

Anon8---) (1981904) | more than 3 years ago | (#36640010)

destroying god's work. One step @ a time ^^

MRI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36640192)

I wonder, how do they check if it worked when the magnets are still in the body?

all jokes aside (1)

luther349 (645380) | more than 3 years ago | (#36641052)

i have a mother with kemo restent cancer abought to die. i bet she would be willing to give this a human tiral. she relly has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Still Have The Injection Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36641088)

It will be difficult to inject nanoparticles into real brain tumors since they won't be grafted onto the bellies of mice. Injecting safely into tumors that are more or less inaccessible has and still is the main detriment to this treatment.

It's great if you're lucky enough to have a tumor at an easy injection site.

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