- Russian scientists used hyperthermia heat to cure colon cancer.
- The studies using nanatechnology to cure cancer have been around for over a decade.
- The method has not been perfected as of yet.
Russian scientists presented a new research paper claiming a cure for colon cancer. The new part of protocol treatment included using hyperthermia-heating at a specific temperature by nanoparticles. The drug is based on cobalt ferrite (CoFe2O4) nanoparticles, a hard magnetic material that has high coercivity and moderate magnetization. The particles should be single domain, of pure phase, having high coercivity and medium magnetization.
Magnetic hyperthermia is one of the new methods of cancer treatment in which intense heat can cause denaturation of cellular proteins, which quickly destroys tumor cells. Scientific papers pertaining to such applications have been surfacing since 2010, but the methods are not perfected as of yet.
Magnetic hyperthermia (MHT) is a type of thermal cancer treatment that takes advantage of the heat generated by magnetic nanoparticles. MHT has been extensively investigated both theoretically and experimentally to reach a therapeutic efficacy. Activating the MNPs located deep inside the tissues or organs by MHT can be accomplished at frequencies (f) and field (H) conditions that do not harm the human body (H x f ≤ 5 × 108 A/m.s).
However, in order to prevent the death of healthy body tissues along with patients, the method involves the selective introduction of an agent with magnetic properties into the tumor. Due to them, it provides localized and controlled heating in the presence of an electromagnetic field. The agent (in its role are nanoparticles of metal oxides) contacts with tumor cells and under the influence of a kilohertz alternating electromagnetic field is heated, destroys them.
The technology has not reached mainstream and established cancer protocols yet. The researchers are still exploring suitable materials to use and optimal temperature conditions to reach the best results.
Russian scientists were able to achieve complete disappearance of malignancies in 100% of mice with colon cancer after heating the tumor at a temperature between 41-43°C. The Scientists used cobalt ferrite nanoparticles, which have high magnetic properties, and therefore are able to provide heating of cells and tissues in a wide range of temperatures in response to the influence of an electromagnetic field. In addition, they are extremely stable in physiological conditions, do not have a toxic effect on the cells and tissues of the body, and they can be easily and inexpensively obtained.
Thereafter, researchers conducted a comparative analysis of the effect of different temperatures on two models of malignant tumors– non-aggressive and “evil” actively metastasizing– and found that colon cancer cells are more sensitive to hyperthermia and die when heated in the range of 41-43°C.
According to the published results, breast cancer has a higher heat resistance and those cancer cells died at hyperthermia > 47°C. In groups of animals that were treated at temperatures of 46-48°C and 58-60°C, the survival rate was 25-40%. However, an important discovery was the fact that therapy with magnetic hyperthermia leads to a decrease in the incidence of metastases in the body of animals compared to surgical removal of the tumor.
Russian scientists continue to perfect their new found method for this cancer treatment.