Thursday, August 21, 2014

Magnetic Bacteria Could Fight Cancer

The normal treatment for cancer is some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  A new so-far experimental treatment is called "magnetic hyperthermia", which involves sending iron nanoparticles into a patient's bloodstream to arrive at the cancerous tumor, followed by heating the particles with an MRI machine.  According to Newsweek, there is a problem with this method, and a new proposed solution which uses magnetic bacteria.
Iron nanoparticle injections move throughout the body’s bloodstream and become diluted, making it difficult to build up the iron levels needed to destroy the tumors.
So researchers from the University in Granada, Spain, designed digestible magnetic bacteria that could leak through the lining of the stomach in order to quickly fill local stomach tumors with iron. Patients would only have to eat yogurt or other foods laced with probiotic bacteria, and wait three hours for it to digest, to get the first step of the treatment out of the way.

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