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article imageCancer Therapy Without Side Effects Nearing Trials

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 14, 2008 in Health
A Pennsylvanian scientist has developed a new technology that is reportedly 100 per cent effective in killing cancer cells and leaving healthy cells unharmed. Soon it will be expanded to human trials.
Current radiation and chemotherapy treatments are very effective in killing cancer cells but they also have toxic side effects and they destroy healthy cells.
John Kanzius, a retired radio and TV engineer from Pennsylvania, has developed a technology by using harmless radio waves for treatment. The therapy attached microscopic nanoparticles to cancer cells and then “cooks” tumors inside the body with radio waves. In a clinical study, he was able to demonstrate its effectiveness by killing cancer cells and keeping healthy cells unharmed. It is currently being tested at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Dr. Steve Curley, the professor leading the tests, told Wired.com:
I don’t want to give people false hope…but this has the potential to treat a wide variety of cancers.
The Kanzius RF therapy is non-invasive and uses non-toxic radio waves combined with gold or carbon nanoparticles, which have been used in medical facilities for a long time now. Nanoparticles can move through a bloodstream and through cell walls easily, and allows efficient drug delivery or acts as a homing device (in this case for application of radio waves).
At M.D. Anderson, Curley's research team is working on coating microscopic gold nanoparticles with cancer-seeking molecules. The proteins act as a filter that ensures nanoparticles attach only to cancerous cells in the body.
Dr. Christopher Gannon, assistant professor at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, who collaborated with M.D. Anderson, told Wired.com:
We’re looking into gold because it is FDA-approved and has a track record of being tolerated in humans.
When the gold nanoparticles are inside the cancer area, a blast from a radio-frequency generator causes them to heat and cook the cancer cells.
In trials with animal and human cells, the RF treatment destroyed 100 per cent of malignant cells injected with nanoparticles, without harming surrounding healthy tissue.
This study has been published in the November 2007 issue of the journal Cancer.
Another study published in the Journal of Nanobiotechnoloby in January 2008 showed that human pancreatic cancer cells were destroyed 100 per cent of the time with no noticeable side effects.
The next step is to find cancer-seeking molecules so they will attach to cancer cells effectively. Curley’s team has identified a targeting molecule, c225, which is FDA-approved. However there are c225 in healthy cells also. They may use c225 for some cancers, while trying to find alternative ones for others.
The radio-frequency generator used for this study was invented by Kanzius, who underwent chemotherapy in 2003 and 2004 for leukemia.
Gannon told Wired.com:
His device helped inspire us to create the targeted nanoparticles to make it a fully functional clinical device.
Dr. Curley expects the clinical trials for this treatment will be within the next three years.
More about Cancer, Radio waves, Treatment
 
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