Jerusalem: In what may revolutionise cancertreatment, an Israeli scientist claimed to have devised a newtechnique that can destroy tumours with fewer side effects. The new cancer-killing therapy, being developed byProfessor Israel Gannot of Tel Aviv University`s Department ofBiomedical Engineering, uses magnetically heatednano-particles to target and broil individual cancer cells. The innovative method, to be published in the journalNanomedicine, can help kill the tumour cells leaving thesurrounding healthy tissues intact unlike the common radiationtherapy that often harms healthy tissues while trying to killmalignant cells. Using specific biomarkers attached to individualtumours, Prof Gannot`s special mixture of nano-particles andantibodies locates and binds to the tumour itself, theuniversity said in a release. "Once the nano-particles bind to the tumour, we excitethem with an external magnetic field, and they begin to heatvery specifically and locally," said Prof Gannot. The magnetic field is manipulated to create a targetedrise in temperature, and it is this directed heat elevationwhich kills the tumours, he said. The treatment has been proven effective againstepithelial cancers, which can develop in almost any area ofthe body, such as the breast or lung. By using a special feedback process, also developed inhis laboratory, the process can be optimised for individualtreatment, the scientist claimed. The specialised cocktail of nano-particles andantibodies is administered safely and simply, through topicallocal injection or injection into the blood stream. As anadded benefit, the mixture washes out of the body withoutleaving a trace, minimising side effects, he stated. The nano-particles themselves are already FDA-approved,and according to Prof Gannot, the method is effective almostany type of tumour, as long as its specific markers and itsantibodies can be identified. If clinical trials are successful, the technique maybecome a mainstay of patient care, the university said.
Prof Gannot is currently applying his technique to celllines and to ex vivo tissues and tissue-like substitutes inhis lab, and plans to start in vivo experiments by next year,the university added.PTI
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