Medical sciences, today, know of a number of methods to kill cancerous cells within a human body. However, often these methods prove a little imprecise because they end up damaging healthy cells too which may, in turn, cause a number of side-effects for the person who has been treated.
Researchers have been trying to find out a method to kill off cancer cells without hurting the healthy cells. And it seems that they may have found a way to do so. Researchers in South Korea have now come up with a way of killing cancer cells with the help of magnets.
The idea that this team of researchers has made use of, is quite simple: they introduced iron oxide nanoparticles into the body. Iron oxide attaches itself to antibodies which then attach themselves to tumor cell receptors. Once this process is complete, a magnetic field is introduced which causes the nanoparticles within the tumor cells to come together into a cluster and self-destruct through the process of apoptosis.
As a result of this experiment, more than half of the cancerous cells within the subject’s body were killed without harming any healthy cells. So far, the team has tested this new method only on living zebra fish. One side effect that they noted was that the tail of the zebra fish experienced abnormal growth.
This side-effect may be an isolated incident or may simply be the result of the magnetic treatment. Researchers are continuing their experiments to find that out and it will probably be a long while before this technique can be used on actual human bodies.