Russian scientists develop liquid magnet to fight cancer

Researchers produced new ferromagnetic materials for treating malignancies

Russian researchers continue developing new methods of controlled hyperthermia, a treatment of malignant tumors by inducing fever. Cancer cells are destroyed at 42-43 degrees Celsius. Researchers at the Emanuel Institute of Biochemical Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Moscow State University produced new ferromagnetic materials. A series of experiments conducted at the Russian Oncology Research Center of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences show that the materials combined with anticancer drugs can be successfully used for treating malignancies.

Biochemists synthesized the nanoparticles of ferromagnetic materials with a low Curie point (42-45 degrees Celsius). The nanoparticles lose their magnetic properties when heated to the above temperature. The nanoparticles can be used for preparing water-based magnetic fluid. Anticancer drugs are added to the fluid. Then the fluid is injected into a patient.

The nanoparticles are driven by the force of an external magnetic field. They concentrate in a tumor and start heating evenly. They heat up the encircling tissues to Curie point thus destroying cancer cells. They also lose their ferromagnetic properties at that point. The lowering of temperature results in another round of magnetization for the nanoparticles and they heat up again because of an external magnetic field. The disease-stricken tissues are heated by them in the process.

The hyperthermia treatment helps anticancer drugs kill cancer cells. In the meantime, healthy cells remain intact. The best results were produced by magnetic fluids derived from manganite whose makeup includes strontium, lanthanum, manganese, and oxygen.

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Author`s name Olga Savka