University of Keele - Magnets used to target tumours

April 24, 2008

A cancer treatment using microscopic magnets to enable human cells to target tumours has been developed by researchers. The new magnetic targeting technique has been developed by a team from the universities of Keele, Sheffield and Nottingham. It involves inserting nanomagnets into monocytes, a type of white blood cell, and injecting the cells into the bloodstream. A small magnet is then placed over the tumour and its magnetic field then attracts many more monocytes into the tumour. Jon Dobson of Keele said: "By harnessing and enhancing the monocytes' innate targeting abilities, this technique offers great potential to overcome some of the barriers and bring the technology closer to the clinic."

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