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Research:Trials within Two Years toTarget Cancer Cells Only


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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.j ... anc125.xml


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Trials to mop up cancer cells when they have spread throughout the body of a patient with cancer could start in London within two years.

Baroness Greenfield's £22m plans for the Royal Institution

Nanomagnet system could target tumours

Cancers become deadly when they spread to seed new tumours throughout the body and the hope is that the treatment could be an alternative to chemotherapy drugs that can cause nausea and hair loss, and improve survival rates.

Professor Quentin Pankhurst is pioneering the research at the Royal Institution's new £3.5 million laboratory off Piccadilly.

He said it will be used to treat dozens of different types of cancer - with the first trials to target head and neck cancer.

Several teams of scientists around the world are racing to be the first to perfect the technique, which will rely on tiny iron-oxide particles that are safe and easy to use in the human body, but he believes his team will be the first to test the method.

Working with Dr Kerry Chester and her colleagues at University College London, Professor Pankhurst's team will attach the particles to special proteins, called antibodies, that are designed only to stick to cancer cells. There, they will use light waves - actually invisible infra red light - to heat them up to kill the cancer cells.

advertisementTo do this, the patient will enter a special "light oven" that, Prof Pankhurst believes, gives his team a lead over rivals.

"This then offers a potential new way to treat secondary cancers in the body. If we can get the magnetic particles to migrate to cancer cells, we can then apply the light therapy and kill only the cancer cells, leaving the healthy cells unharmed - a big improvement on the aggressive chemotherapies and radiotherapies we currently have to deal with."

Following a two and a half year closure for an extensive £22 million renovation, the Royal Institution will host the new laboratory of Professor Pankhurst.

A defining tenet of the RI is that it should be actively engaged in innovative research undertaken by its own resident scientists and its laboratory has a long and distinguished 200 year history, including the award of 14 Nobel Prizes, the discovery of 10 elements of the periodic table and the invention of the electric generator.

In his new position, from May, Professor Pankhurst will undertake an ambitious collaborative research programme to build a new team of up to 15 resident scientists, engineers, medics and technologists to develop the method for targeting and activating magnetic particles to cause selective localised heating and destruction of cancer cells

Baroness Susan Greenfield, Director, said: "We are delighted to welcome Professor Pankhurst and his team to the new Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory as part of the refurbished Royal Institution. This exciting development is the latest chapter in the long and illustrious history of groundbreaking research here in Albemarle St.

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(Telegraph.co.uk, by Roger Highfield, Science Editor, April 25, 2008)


The information contained in these articles may or may not be in agreement with my own opinions. They are not posted as medical advice of any kind.

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