Thwarting Metastasis by Breaking Cancer’s Legs with Gold Rods

Friday, June 30, 2017 - 07:32 in Health & Medicine

“Your cancer has metastasized. I’m sorry,” is something no one wants to hear a doctor say. Cancer cells kill most often by crawling away from their original tumors to later re-root in vital parts of the body in a process called metastasis. Now, a research team led by the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a new treatment to thwart it by, in a sense, breaking cancer cells’ legs. Cancer cells often cover themselves with bristly leg-like protrusions that enable them to creep. The researchers have used minuscule gold rods heated gently by a laser to mangle the protrusions, according to a new study. The treatment prevented cell migration, a key mechanism in metastasis, in experiments on common laboratory cultures (in vitro) of cancerous human cells. The method could potentially, in the future, offer clinicians going after individual tumors a weapon to combat cancer’s deadly spread at the same time. The medical field...

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