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New “Tumour Monorail” could be effective treatment for cancer

A new concept for treating cancer is being considered after a research team from the Georgia Institute of Technology designed nanofibres thinner than a human hair which cancers “choose” to travel down.

The US researchers have called the nanofibers “monorails” Cancer “and say that they can be used to kill tumours by luring them into toxic pits or areas of the body that are safer to operate on.

The cancerous cells will proceed to make their way down through the body’s nerves and blood vessels as they invade the brain. The nanofibre technology then copies the channels cancerous cells use to move.

Prof Ravi Bellamkonda, one of the lead researchers said: “The cancer cells normally latch on to these natural structures and ride them like a monorail to other parts of the brain. By providing an attractive alternative fibre, we can efficiently move the tumours along a different path to a destination that we choose.”

The new treatment is still in its early stages and so far has only been tested in rats. There is no doubt a long way to go before scientists will know if it will be safe and effective as a cancer treatment for human beings but it is an intriguing idea.


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