Cancer, iron nanoparticles, and magnets. Don’t misinterpret this new research!

Powerful magnets can ‘switch off’ cancer cells.

The breakthrough treatment triggers the diseased cells to effectively commit suicide, blasting away the killer cancer from within.

Programmed cell death, or apoptosis, is one of the body’s ways of getting rid of old, faulty or infected cells.

The treatment works by using tiny iron nanoparticles attached to antibodies which bind to receptor molecules on tumour cells.

When the magnetic field is turned on, the molecules cluster together, triggering the “death signal”.

The process raises the hope of new targeted treatments that could kill tumour cells resistant to programmed cell death.

Here is  a link to the actual paper (behind a paywall but you can see the abstract).

Here, we have developed magnetic nanoparticles that turn on apoptosis cell signalling by using a magnetic field in a remote and non-invasive manner. The magnetic switch consists of zinc-doped iron oxide magnetic nanoparticles5 (Zn0.4Fe2.6O4), conjugated with a targeting antibody for death receptor 4 (DR4) of DLD-1 colon cancer cells.

The article also notes: Scientists … “found in laboratory tests that over half of bowel cancer cells exposed to the nanoparticles and put between two magnets were destroyed by magnetic activation.” I’m a bit concerned that the media so far have emphasized “magnets” and “cancer”. This is more complicated than that. (Also note, it was done on zebrafish – a good start but not humans.) It’s not about “magnets” and cancer, as in – you use magnet therapy to cure your cancer. But involves nanoparticles. And, this is one study. MUCH more research needs to be done.

Nature Materials is a very reputable journal. And this is a unique new treatment idea. My concern is that marketers of sham magnet products will LEAP on this finding.

This not some worthless magnetic bracelets or mattress pads or wraps. This is NANOPARTICLES developed by the researchers and (presumably) injected for this purpose. Please do not confuse this real and highly specific science with ripoff sciencey imitations designed to part you with your money.

This study in no ways says put magnets on yourself to cure your cancer!

  4 comments for “Cancer, iron nanoparticles, and magnets. Don’t misinterpret this new research!

  1. WMccreery
    October 8, 2012 at 9:22 PM

    this will show up on DR Oz Within a week “Magnets cure cancer!”

  2. Zone
    October 9, 2012 at 2:20 AM

    Now I have to dig through the trash for my magnetic bracelet. Might prevent wrist cancer anyway! :)

    • Steeev
      October 9, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      It is probably still stuck to the bottom of the trash can!

  3. One Eyed Jack
    October 9, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Someone notify the ICP.

    F’n nanoparticles, how do they work?

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