Magnetic anticancer agent

Iron oxide structures from magnetotactic bacteria can selectively kill tumor cells if held in an alternating magnetic field (AMF) by generating lethally high temperatures in the cells, according to French researchers. Hyperthermia has been used to treat cancer before, the heat source is usually generated using radiation. Now, Edouard Alphandéry and his colleagues from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, have tested natural iron oxide nanoparticles and found that they can induce cell death through hyperthermia using an AMF. Results from clinical trials are expected in three to four years.