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Magnetized Wire Could Be Used to Detect Cancer

Such a fantastic study. This could become a more effective way to detect cancer.

via Stanford University

A magnetic wire used to snag scarce and hard-to-capture tumor cells could prove to be a swift and effective tactic for early cancer detection, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The wire, which is threaded into a vein, attracts special magnetic nanoparticles engineered to glom onto tumor cells that may be roaming the bloodstream if you have a tumor somewhere in your body. With these tumor cells essentially magnetized, the wire can lure the cells out of the free-flowing bloodstream using the same force that holds family photos to your refrigerator.

The technique, which has only been used in pigs so far, attracts from 10-80 times more tumor cells than current blood-based cancer-detection methods, making it a potent tool to catch the disease earlier. The technique could even help doctors evaluate a patient’s response to particular cancer treatments: If the therapy is working, tumor-cell levels in the blood should rise as the cells die and break away from the tumor, and then fall as the tumor shrinks.

Read more.


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