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Discovery: Cancer cells can be killed in 2 hours

Cell suicide will be induced with a beam of light that will make them acidic

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Jun 29 2016 12:35PM | Updated Date: Jun 29 2016 12:35PM

Discovery: Cancer cells can be killed in 2 hours

A recent study led to the discovery of a new, non-invasive method that can kill up to 95% cancer cells in two hours. Evidently, this progress in medical science will help people with inoperable or hard-to-reach tumours. This method will also help in treating young children stricken with this disease. 


Developed by Matthew Gdovin, Associate Professor at University of Texas at San Antonio, the method involves injecting a chemical compound, nitrobenzaldehyde, into the tumour and allowing it to diffuse into the tissue.


According to researchers a beam of light will be aimed at the tissue, causing the cells to become very acidic and, eventually, ‘commit suicide’. 


“Even though there are many different types of cancers, the one thing they have in common is their susceptibility to this induced cell suicide,” Gdovin said


Making the cells acidic on the outside is a way of attracting the blood vessel’s attention which will then attempt to get rid of the acid, according to Matthew Gdovin. 


It could also help people who have received the maximum amount of radiation treatment and can no longer cope with the scarring and pain that goes along with it, or children who are at risk of developing mutations from radiation as they grow older.


Regular chemotherapy targets all cells in the body whereas Gdovin’s method is precise and can target just the tumour.  He hopes to relieve patients with tumours in areas that have been recognised as problematic for surgeons, such as brain stem, aorta or spine. 


“We’re thinking outside the box and finding a way to do what for many people is simply impossible,” Gdovin said


The study was published in The Journal of Clinical Oncology.