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Monday, June 11, 2007

Electrical Fields To Kill Brain Cancer Cells?

(Image Credit: The Franklin Institute)

It looks like researchers have developed a new way to fight brain cancer without having patients go "under the knife." If proven successful, this Israeli invention may revolutionize how doctors treat this deadly disease.

(Israel 21st Century) An Israeli-developed treatment that specifically targets rapidly growing cancer cells with electrical fields shows great promise in treating patients with brain cancer. The Novo-TTF (Tumor-Treating Fields) device, invented by Technion Professor emeritus Yoram Palti, uses electrical fields to disrupt tumor growth by interfering with cell division of cancerous cells, causing them to stop proliferating and die off instead of dividing and growing. Healthy brain cells rarely divide and have different electrical properties than cancerous brain cells. This allows the device to target cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells. [...]

"This is a new general modality for treating cancer. In a way it's similar to radiation, it's physical in the same sense, but the major difference is that there are no side effects," he told ISRAEL21c from his office at Novocure's headquarters in Haifa.

Although this technology is still in "beta mode" (i.e. clinical testing) it holds much promise for those suffering from this horrible disease. Despite the fact that this technology applies strictly towards the organ we use to think with, scientists may be able to expand this technologies use towards other parts of the body.

You can find out more info regarding this technology over here, although readers may want to check out the full article for details.

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