Magnets help fight prostate cancer

November 9th, 2011 - 5:03 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 9 (IANS) Magnetic force can help treat prostate cancer in men, say experts.

Unlike chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the treatment can kill cancerous cells without harming healthy tissue, Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

Researchers at the University of Sheffield said it is effective for most advanced forms of the disease.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men. There are around 37,000 new cases a year and 10,700 deaths.

When prostate cancer develops, some of the white blood cells, called macrophages, flock to tumours to try to fight them.

However, because these tumours grow and spread so rapidly the blood cells are unable to keep pace.

To speed up their action, the researchers have injected the cells with magnetically-charged nanoparticles, each one 1/50th the width of a human hair, according to the Mail.

This magnetic force enables the cells to move much more quickly around the body targeting tumours.

Early lab tests have shown that the white blood cells can reduce numbers of cancerous cells. However, researchers stress that the treatment is in its early stages. They hope to carry out trials on humans within the next five years.

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