Researchers at Stanford University Medical Center have developed and tested a wireless device on mice, which is small enough to inject into the brain and kill cancer cells, and ultimately the development will reduce the long-term and painful treatment of cancer.
The implant activates remotely and heats nanoparticles injected into the tumor. This triggers cancer cell destruction. Biologists treated mice with brain tumors for 15 minutes every day for more than 15 days.
The nanoparticles can only target the tumor, so the side effects are much smaller, especially when compared to chemotherapy and radiation, explain the authors in the new article.
Photothermal treatment, which uses light to heat nanoparticles in the fight against brain tumors, is not new; however, it can only be used during operations when the tumor is exposed to a light source.
After four years of hard work, researchers have developed a system that generates heat at the site of tumors to destroy them. Wireless implants are implanted between the skin and the skull. Then nanoparticles of gold are injected into the tumor through a tiny hole in the skull. The implant emits infrared light that penetrates the brain's tissue and activates nanoparticles that increase the temperature to 5 °C. The tumors of different sizes can be killed by controlling the power and the length of the light wave.