While different approaches are currently being explored to fight cancer, a team of Indian researchers has designed a magnetic bandage that has been shown to kill skin cancer tumor cells in experiments conducted on mice. Explanations.
A promising process
In recent years, nanoparticles have been the subject of much research in the field of cancer control. Using an emerging technique known as magnetic hyperthermia, scientists are able to route these to the tumor site and then activate them using an alternating magnetic field, resulting in their warms up and helps to eliminate surrounding cancer cells.
Until now, these nanoparticles were injected directly into the tumor, or made their way there in groups. But in the context of work presented in the review Cancer Reports, scientists fromIndian Institute of Science have shown that they can also be applied simply to the epidermis, as a non-invasive bandage, to treat skin cancer.
The magnetic nanoparticles used were created thanks to theelectrospinning, a technique where materials are pulled by an electric field to create microscopic fibers. Made up of a mixture of iron oxide and a biodegradable polymer, the resulting nanoparticles were then bonded to a surgical tape which could then be heated by a magnetic field.
Kill epidermal cancer cells without harming healthy cells
Tested on human cancer cell lines in vitro, the heated bandage successfully eliminated them. The technology was then applied to mice with artificially induced skin cancer, where it also killed cancer cells, while leaving healthy tissue unharmed, with no signs of burning or inflammation.
” The high temperature at the treatment site allows heat to penetrate the tumor cells, thereby disrupting the compact and random vascular network of the tumors », Details Shilpee jain, lead author of the study. ” Conversely, healthy cells, due to their open, organized vasculature, dissipate heat to maintain normal temperatures, and therefore remain unharmed.. “
While these early results are promising, the team notes that the technology is at an early stage of development, and more research will be needed before considering clinical use. In the coming months, they plan to test their approach on increasingly massive animals.
” Further studies are needed to test the efficacy of this new treatment method on a larger scale in rabbits, dogs and monkeys before using it for preclinical and clinical applications. », Concludes Jain.