Scientists Develop New Therapy That Kills Cancer Cells Using Magnetic Seeds

Scientists have developed a new therapy that uses minimally invasive image-guided ablation technology to kill the tumor cells in the body. The experiment was done in mice, and it used magnetic seeds generated by MRI scanners to heat and kill the cancer cells.

Scientists Develop New Therapy That Kills Cancer Cells Using Magnetic Seeds

Several types of cancers that are difficult to reach inside the body can be effectively treated using such minimally invasive techniques. The researchers have termed the therapy as MINIMA, which uses MRI scanners to guide the magnetic seeds through the body.

Scientists Develop Therapy That kills Cancer Cells Using Magnetic Seeds

Once the magnetic seeds reach the tumor, it is heated, and the cancer cells get killed in this manner. In this way, the damage to healthy cells is very less as the approach is targeted only at the specific area of the tumor.

Researchers say that this therapy is highly accurate up to 0.3mm, and it can be guided precisely to the affected region without any hassles. The magnetic seeds are round in shape and have a size of around 2mm.

Once they are injected into the body, they can be guided using MRI scanners to the precise location of the tumor. In this way, the damage to nearby cells is very less, and only the affected region gets heated during the process.

Experts feel that this therapy can help many patients who have cancer. Open surgery is not an easy option in many cases as the tumor is not easily accessible. In that situation, using conventional methods to kill the cancer cells result in a lot of damage to the surrounding cells.

However, using a precision technique like this one helps surgeons effectively target the tumors. The MRI scanner allows the doctors to see the seeds as they pass through the body to the affected area. The process of heating the seeds at the affected area is also monitored through the scanner, allowing doctors to kill the tumor precisely.

One of the major advantages of choosing such minimally invasive methods is that it reduces the side effects to a large extent. In normal modes of treatment, a lot of damage is done to surrounding healthy cells while killing the tumor cells.

Due to this, the body goes into a shock and takes a lot of time to recover from the trauma. All these things can be avoided by precisely targeting the tumor cells in this manner. This reduces the recovery time by a huge margin, and patients can have less number of hospital visits during cancer treatment.

It is also interesting to note that MRI scanners are readily available in hospitals that treat cancer patients. In this way, there is no need to invest money in new technology as the existing setup can be used in an innovative manner to treat cancer.

Until now, MRI scanners were only used for diagnosis, and this therapy pushes the scanner into a therapeutic platform. This is a good innovation, and experts are hopeful that it will yield similar results in human trials.

Experts say that this method can precisely guide the magnetic seed to the affected area, and all the information is available in real-time through the MRI scanner. In this way, the heating is done only after the seed reaches the exact target location.

There is minimal damage to surrounding healthy tissue in this method. So far, the method has successfully destroyed tumor cells in mice, and researchers hope that this can be used for human trials in the future. It is going to improve the treatment options and provide surgeons with better ways to kill the cancer cells. 

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