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Thread: Magnetic Nanoparticles and Stem Cells Against Cancer

  1. #1 Magnetic Nanoparticles and Stem Cells Against Cancer 
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    Apr 2011
    Kansas State University researches have developed a new method to struggle against cancer cells based on nanotechnology. Magnetic nanoparticles are placed in the neutral stem cells, then the solution with these cells is injected into the patient’s vein, and when the cells percolate through the tumour tissue, nanoparticles are heated with an electromagnetic field.

    Cancer cells are more sensitive to heat than healthy ones, so the use of «localized hyperthermia» – heating of tumour tissue to temperature above 43 degrees – can significantly enhance the effect of chemotherapy. This technique has shown positive results in the treatment of malignant melanoma, lymph node metastases, glioblastoma and other tumors.

    The essence of magnetic hyperthermia is the use of particles that penetrate into the tumour cells and then are heated by an alternating magnetic field. The main and obvious difficulty is the «delivery» of tiny nanoparticles into tumour cells. Scientists have been attempting to find an effective way to deliver them, including the direct introduction of ferromagnetic solutions to the tumour or the joining of biologically active substances and nanoparticles, but there’s still no effective method.

    The new method proposed by the american scientists is based on the use of undifferentiated «progenitor» cells, which act as “Trojan horse”. Scientists have found a way to deliver stem cells with magnetic nanoparticles (which neurons or neuroglia are formed of), which core consists of iron and the shell consists of the iron oxide Fe3O4. A solution of these stem cells was injected into a vein of an experimental mice which have melanoma. A few days later, when the cells reached the tumour tissue, the scientists exposed mice to the influence of electromagnetic fields. As a result, the majority of mice’s tumours significantly reduced, because warmed nanoparticles destroyed the protein of diseased cells.

    In the future, scientists plan to conduct experiments on the combined treatment with the use of chemotherapy. Another line of experiments will be the use of stem cells to transport the protein that destroys cancer cells.

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