Today seems like it is cancer-combat day. British scientists have developed a 24 hour cancer blood test while American scientists have created an implant which draws cancer cells back from the entire body. The implant attracts cancer cells and captures them, making it easier to contain cancer within the human body. It is safe to call it a cancer magnet implant and it might become a significant addition to the war against cancer.
The new invention was designed during a study, which was published in the journal Nature Communications. While the cancer magnet implant does not cure cancer for good, it impedes it from progressing. This might be of greater importance because the implant contains cancer within a specific location in the body, making it easier to remove and giving the patient a little more time.
However, its implications are rather double edged. The implant gathers all cells in one place, so it can make it easier to be removed, but this requires surgery, a feature that doctors and patients alike would always like to avoid. Cutting out the tumor usually leaves patients scarred for life. While the discovery might have come in handy a few years ago, it does not offer too good a solution at this moment.
Still, Professor Lonnie Shea, who was the study’s co-author, is looking forward to this new discovery. She believes that this new implant might lead to alternative ways of treating and diagnosing cancer. Professor Shea mentions that the scientists started with the idea of making cancer cells gather in a spot in which they could be specifically analyzed.
Also, Shea suggested that researchers were interested in making cancer cells moving away from vital body parts. For example, if the cancer would originate in the lung, they wanted to know if they could design something that would make the cells move to other cells instead of the lung. But wouldn’t this endeavor make cancer “originate” in two different locations?
In the end, Shea said that the implant was designed with cancer study in mind. If patients were suspected to have cancer, they could be injected with the implant and have the gathered cells studied regularly until a proper treatment may be determined and could later begin. The idea seems quite promising, but we still feel that the body would be drastically endangered by having two origin points.
However, we should believe in specialists and be confident that they are trying to do what is best for patients. After all, this treatment might prove quite useful in time, despite our disbelief.
Photo Credits cancerdestroy.com