New cancer treatment which can kill off tumours in just TWO HOURS has been developed

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

Mark Waghorn , Jim Leffman


A new cancer treatment has been developed that can kill off tumours in just two hours.

The remarkable technique is non-invasive and requires just a single jab and a beam of light.

It may be of particular help for patients with inoperable or hard to reach growths, as well as young children stricken with the disease, a study shows.

Biologist Professor Matthew Gdovin tested his newly patented method against triple negative breast cancer, one of the most aggressive types of cancer and most difficult to cure.

In experiments on mice he was able to stop the tumour from growing and double their chances of survival after just one treatment in the laboratory.

The new treatment involves injecting a chemical, nitrobenzaldehyde, into the tumour and allowing it to diffuse into the tissue.

Prof Gdovin then aims a beam of ultraviolet light at the cancerous cells causing them to become very acidic and, essentially, commit suicide.

Within two hours, he estimates up to 95 per cent of the targeted cancer cells are dead.

Prof Gdovin, of the University of Texas at San Antonio, said: “Even though there are many different types of cancers, the one thing they have in common is their susceptibility to this induced cell suicide.”

He added: “All forms of cancer attempt to make cells acidic on the outside as a way to attract the attention of a blood vessel, which attempts to get rid of the acid.

“Instead, the cancer latches onto the blood vessel and uses it to make the tumour larger and larger.”

Chemotherapy treatments target all cells in the body, and certain therapeutics try to keep diseased ones acidic as a way to kill them.

This is what causes many patients to lose their hair and become sickly. Prof Gdovin’s method is more precise and can target just the tumour.

In the past two years, he’s developed his ‘photodynamic’ therapy to the point where it is non invasive.

It now requires just an injection of the nitrobenzaldehyde fluid followed by a flash of an ultraviolet light to cause the cancer killing reaction.

He has now begun to test the method on drug resistant cancer cells to make his therapy as strong as possible.

It could also help people who have received the maximum amount of radiation 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.

Added Prof Gdovin: “There are so many types of cancer for which the prognosis is very poor. We are thinking outside the box and finding a way to do what for many people is simply impossible.”

Meanwhile, other scientists have claimed deadly toxin anthrax might hold the key to fighting cancer.

Researchers discovered that combining anthrax proteins with chemotherapy drugs could eliminate or reduce tumours.

Using mice, the team from National Institutes of Health , found that engineered proteins from anthrax target the cells that line the inner walls of the blood vessels feeding the tumour.

However on their own they produce an immune response but to get around this they were combined with chemotherapy drugs.

The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that this produced “durable, anti-tumour effects worthy of further exploration”.