Targeting cancer with magnets

Author: Cal Powell

With the goal of reducing the toxic side effects of chemotherapy, researchers in FACS have developed a noninvasive way to deliver the drugs directly to tumors using magnetic forces.

Chemotherapy patients frequently experience hair loss, fatigue and appetite changes as a result of the treatment. Led by textiles, merchandising and interiors graduate student Andrey Zakharchenko, researchers from FACS and Clarkson University in New York first created nanoparticles that can act as drug carriers or enzymes.

When a weak magnetic field is applied, the nanoparticles merge, releasing the drugs directly at the site of the tumor.

The study, published in Nature Catalysis, is the first in vitro experiment to use magnetic forces to deliver cancer-killing medication without causing harm to surrounding healthy cells.