Researchers at Ohio University have devised a tool that can slow or even prevent the migration of cancer cells into the body.
Technology has an important role to play in the treatment of certain diseases, including cancer. US researchers show that electromagnetic energy can block the formation of metastases. They publish the results of their work in the journal Biology Communications.
Cells able to move in the body
Some cancers may become metastatic, which means that cells have separated from the original tumor and circulated through the body. When they are numerous in the same place, they multiply and form a new tumor.
"This ability of cells to multiply throughout the body is what makes cancer so devastating," says lead author Jonathan Song. Cancer cells are able to migrate far into the body. "It seems that treating them with certain electromagnetic fields modifies their propagation capacity," he adds.
An effective method for triple negative breast cancer
The team of scientists has developed a tool to track the movement of cancer cells in breast cancer: the Helmholtz coils. It also allowed them to send electromagnetic energy to the cells. The experiment was successful: they were no longer able to form long and thin extensions at the ends, which usually allows them to multiply. The method was particularly effective for cancer cells associated with triple negative breast cancer, which is one of the most difficult to treat.
This study was conducted on cells in the laboratory, but tests should soon be carried out on animals before being made with humans.