Print 40 comment(s) - last by Suomynona.. on Apr 17 at 12:18 PM

New treatment is nearing trials, may be in practice within a few years

When it comes to cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation, harsh side effects ranging from mild, such as nausea, to severe, such as infertility or death often come with the territory.

Now a new therapy method is being tested which may replace these more caustic cures.  The new treatment is known as Kanzius RF Therapy, named after Pennsylvania inventor John Kanzius, a retired radio and TV engineer.  The method on a most basic level involves attaching nanoparticles to cancer cells and then blasting them with RF, effectively cooking the cancer cells.

In tests the new treatment has an amazing perfect record -- it killed 100 percent of cancerous cells, while leaving healthy cells untouched.  It is being tested at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  Dr. Steve Curley, the professor leading the testing in Houston states, "I don’t want to give people false hope, but this has the potential to treat a wide variety of cancers."

Chemotherapy and radiation's many harmful side effects are due to the fact that these methods kill healthy cells in addition to cancerous ones.  The Kanzius RF Therapy not only does not kill healthy cells, but it is noninvasive.  It uses either gold or carbon nanoparticles, which have a long history of medical use.

Gold nanoparticles have been a subject of much research since their invention in 1980.  The particles can pass through cell membranes and move through the blood stream, allowing researchers to use them to target certain cellular structures.  This behavior can also be useful for drug delivery.  There are still some unresolved questions on the safety of nanoparticles, due to the relative lack of information on health effects of long-term exposure.

Curley's team at M.D. Anderson coats the gold nanoparticles with proteins that bind to receptors on cancerous cells only.  This allows researchers to inject the nanoparticles into cancer cells, leaving normal cells untouched.  Dr. Christopher Gannon, assistant professor at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, who collaborated with M.D. Anderson explains, "We’re looking into gold because it is FDA-approved and has a track record of being tolerated in humans."

Once the cancer cells have been loaded with nanoparticles, a radio frequency generator is activated to cook the cancer cells.  Initial trials on animal and human cells showed that the cancer cells injected with the nanoparticles had a 100 percent kill rate, while no healthy cells were harmed.  A study in the November 2007 issue of the journal Cancer showed that the cancerous cells died within approximately 48 hours.

A separate study in the Journal of Nanobiotechnology in January 2008 similarly confirmed the test results.  Gannon states, "We know it has the potential to work well.  It’s just a matter of making the details work."

The biggest challenge is in finding proteins that will bond to cancerous cells and not bond to healthy cells.  Curley's team has found a molecule c225, which is FDA approved, and targets cancer cells.  Unfortunately c225 can also bond to some healthy cells.  Said Curley, "It will depend on the type of cancer and the targeting molecules attached to the nanoparticles."

The radio frequency generator used in the trials was invented by Kanzius after he went through chemotherapy for leukemia in 2003 and 2004.  Kanzius declined to comment on his work, and has an exclusive media deal with CBS News, and will be appearing on a special edition of 60 Minutes this Sunday.  Gannon lauds Kanzius as a pioneer, stating, "His device helped inspire us to create the targeted nanoparticles to make it a fully functional clinical device."

Kanzius is working to enlarge his prototype RF generator to a full-scale model the size of a CT-scanner, big enough to fit a human inside.  This should eventually allow for clinical trials.

All those working on the project are very optimistic about its revolutionary nature.  Curley, who describes himself as the "ultimate skeptic" states, "The best-case scenario is that we would be able to clinical trials within three years."

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Side Effects
By 16nm on 4/14/2008 12:23:01 PM , Rating: 5
LOL, Jason, yes, death would be a harsh side effect, wouldn't it?
harsh side effects ranging from mild, such as nausea, to severe, such as infertility or death often come with the territory

I saw the piece about this on 60 Minutes last night after the game. It looks promising. I have a friend that is literally days of dying from what started out as colon cancer. Let us just hope this is strike #3 for cancer.

RE: Side Effects
By Durrr on 4/14/2008 12:27:55 PM , Rating: 6
We should use genetically re-engineered measles virus to fight cancer. it was effective in 10009 of 10009 patients in a clinical trial!

RE: Side Effects
By 16nm on 4/14/2008 12:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Side Effects
By mattclary on 4/14/2008 12:39:37 PM , Rating: 2
Damn! Wish I could rate you up!

RE: Side Effects
By jlips6 on 4/15/2008 4:41:35 PM , Rating: 2
time for a 6.

By DeepBlue1975 on 4/14/2008 1:08:42 PM , Rating: 5
They should develop an FPS approach. IE, you command a nanobot inside the body and the objective of the game is to kill the cancerous cell with various weapons.

If you kill friendly cells you loose points, if the patient dies, the game ends.

By shaw on 4/14/2008 1:19:58 PM , Rating: 3
They should just shrink us down along with a sub and inject us into the person with cancer. Our lasers on the sub can blast away the cancel cells.

By geddarkstorm on 4/14/2008 2:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
That sounds like a cool pretense for a movie!

Oh... wait...

By bunnyfubbles on 4/14/2008 3:05:20 PM , Rating: 2
and for a ride at Disney World!!!


By TimberJon on 4/16/2008 4:55:04 PM , Rating: 2
It could be a VR simulator w/the helmet and everything!

Re: Receptors
By sld on 4/14/2008 12:04:17 PM , Rating: 2
This will rock as long as the cell receptors are specific enough. It will be a nightmare if a few days after the cancer has been cured the person dies because a few vital cells were annihilated too.

RE: Re: Receptors
By Amiga500 on 4/14/2008 12:35:31 PM , Rating: 3
I reckon most people with terminal cancer would say "take the chance doc".

Even if it go belly up with them, the researchers might learn something that would help the next one in the line.

RE: Re: Receptors
By TimberJon on 4/16/2008 4:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
I LOVE this line...

"Even if it go belly up with them, the researchers might learn something that would help the next one in the line."


RE: Re: Receptors
By Suomynona on 4/17/2008 10:57:25 AM , Rating: 2
Well, that kind of goes with the territory for experimental treatments. Some times they work, some times they don't, some times they have unexpected and nasty side-effects.

Which is why you tend to limit initial tests on humans to those who are terminal.

Gold Balls
By Fnoob on 4/14/2008 2:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
I have been accused before of having brass balls, but it looks like I might be getting an upgrade!

RE: Gold Balls
By DarkElfa on 4/14/2008 2:50:37 PM , Rating: 2
Why can't they do this with AIDS and just attach nano particles to HIV strands and burn them out?

RE: Gold Balls
By Carter642 on 4/14/2008 3:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
Viruses tend to be more resiliant and have fewer receptor sites making it harder to cook them. Still, it might work, here's hoping!

RE: Gold Balls
By jlips6 on 4/15/2008 5:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
they would have to find a protein that binds to HIV.

artificial t-cells? The HIV would bond to them!
dude. kick-ass.
Lol, I know that's crazy difficult to make cells like that. Unless they just stuck nano-particles in t-cells from a blood transfusion. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Goodbye HIV/AIDS.

By Mitch101 on 4/14/2008 1:58:50 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if this method would work on Tumors where surgery would in most cases kill or cripple the patient. Not all tumors are cancerous but I'm thinking this might work.

RE: Tumors?
By Suomynona on 4/17/2008 11:59:12 AM , Rating: 2
It really depends on whether you can target the cells that you want to kill. You need to attach the nano particles to a protein or some other molecule that will (hopefully) only attach to the bad cells.

I suppose one could use the analogy of the nanoparticles being tiny packets of explosives and the RF field being a remote trigger. You attach a homing device to each packet of explosives, you inject them into the body, wait until they have homed in on the bad cells and then hit the trigger. So the missing piece seems to be coming up with good homing devices for different types of cancers/tumours/etc.

So Jason...
By tobrien on 4/14/2008 2:20:04 PM , Rating: 4
What role did Vista or Microsoft play in this? Is 'cancer' a synonym for Microsoft? Because I'd imagine that MS is VERY hard to kill.

60 Minutes - Was 13 April 2008
By lukasbradley on 4/14/2008 1:38:39 PM , Rating: 3
For those of you looking forward to the 60 Minutes story "this Sunday," it actually aired yesterday, Sunday, 13 April 2008 in the United States. I'm sure this article was written before, but posted today.

The story offered an excellent overview. However, as Lesley Stahl said herself, "I did a cancer cure story in 1973". Having said that, I hope this is the "golden" bullet.

Not the end of cancer
By General Disturbance on 4/14/2008 5:26:03 PM , Rating: 1
Keep in mind that this would be a cure for the cancer that you already have, not the cancer that you might get. Certainly this would be a wonderful breakthrough, to cure cancer in the people who got it, but the underlying cause of what causes cancer will still be there and mean we still get cancer.
Case in point: While cancer survival rates have been increasing i.e. cancer mortality is decreasing, and may decrease further with this invention, cancer acquisition rates are actually on the increase and show no sign of slowing.
Cancer prevention would be a much better "cure", but the fact is that little to no research is done on that paradigm of cancer "treatment", other than what you hear about eating proper food and light exercise, which of course no one truly incorporates into their life. The cause of cancer is, in quite simple terms, cells that have gone crazy (happens all the time) while at the same time the body is too depleted of vital energy to clean up the bad cells up. Make your body vital and energetic with raw plant foods and no intake of any processed foods, and you will reduce your cancer rate to background noise levels.
Case in point: we have all heard of the various types of veggies and fruit that, when eaten raw, reduce risks of both specific and general types of cancer by some tens of percent. Add all these percentages up and you easily exceed 100%. Not that that type of addition of percentages is mathematically sensical, but it does help illustrate the point of what you can do to prevent cancer and how easy and effective and simple it really is.

RE: Not the end of cancer
By Digimonkey on 4/15/2008 8:37:08 AM , Rating: 2
Sixty percent of the time it works every time.

By mpjesse on 4/14/2008 5:16:10 PM , Rating: 2
Like a few in here I too have been following this treatment closely. It was widely reported in a National Geographic article in June 2006 titled "Nanotechnology". In lab tests this treatment killed 100% of all tumors in mice with absolutely no side effects. As the article mentioned it's only for use in certain types of cancer, but those "certain types" happen to be the big ones (breast cancer, lung cancer, etc). AFAIK it does not STOP new tumors from growing, but it does kill them. In chemotherapy, the treatment is often worse than the disease, so ANY new treatment without the associated side effects will be welcomed by all.

I'm so happy this is going to human trials. Make no mistake guys, this is the next big thing in cancer treatment.

in other words...
By freeagle on 4/15/2008 7:54:09 AM , Rating: 2
We know it has the potential to work well. It’s just a matter of making the details work

we have 90% of the work done... now on to the remaining 90 %

on the way
By Screwballl on 4/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: on the way
By mattclary on 4/14/2008 12:24:17 PM , Rating: 3
If it kills cancer, that pretty much is a cure.

Cancer is a defect in cells that causes them to reproduce uncontrollably. This can be caused by different things such as radiation or toxins. The way to "cure" cancer is to kill those cells and stop them from reproducing.

RE: on the way
By 16nm on 4/14/2008 12:28:34 PM , Rating: 2
Of course the potential for abuse is also amazing, put it in the hands of some evil person or corporation and they can program the nanos to kill off certain cells (like brain cells) thus killing the person with no chance of the cells being fixed.

But are there not drugs today that can have a similar effect? (destroy certain cells only)

RE: on the way
By Carter642 on 4/14/2008 3:13:13 PM , Rating: 4
Eh, to do someone harm with this technique, you'd have to inject them with these nano particles, then get them to lay down infront of a really powerful RF transmitter. By themselves the nano particles are harmless.

To get these to do anything you need to coat the gold particles with proteins that bind to the target that you want to pursue. After a matter of days the proteins on the particles will break down and float off. It's not like you can inject babies with them and then 30 years later fry their brains. I mean seriously, if you want to off someone there are a whole lot cheaper and more effective methods. Honestly try to think before turning alarmist conspiracy theory nut.

RE: on the way
By Screwballl on 4/14/08, Rating: -1
RE: on the way
By 16nm on 4/15/2008 8:53:47 AM , Rating: 1
Honestly try to think before turning alarmist conspiracy theory nut

My point was that there is potential for abuse with many things yet we have not let it hold us, the human race, back. Besides, as you say, it is hard to see how this new technology could be abused in any meaningful way.

RE: on the way
By Suomynona on 4/17/2008 11:09:06 AM , Rating: 3
I see two potential problems here.

One is how well the targeting system is working. If the protein bind to cancer cells and cancer cells only it is all good, but what if they also bind to certain types of good cells? Or if a large portion of them don't stick to any cells and just float around.

Second is what happens after the proteins break down. Will the nano particles be flushed out or will they stay in the body? If they stay it will make repeat treatment difficult. Also, will these particles have other negative effects?

RE: on the way
By dflynchimp on 4/14/2008 1:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
I think we're getting a little ahead of ourselves. This method may be good for tumors, but I doubt it can cost-effectively and efficiently replace traditional vaccines. Colds and flus aren't localized problems as they are viruses, so this treatment probably won't work very well.

RE: on the way
By geddarkstorm on 4/14/2008 2:36:19 PM , Rating: 3
That all is pretty dreamy far off stuff.

This technique isn't a programmed anything, it isn't a nano machine. The word nano just means the size scale we are working with, or nano diameter gold beads in this case. The beads are attached to an antibody or ligand for a specific receptor the cancer cell is expressing.

Now, the hard part about all this is cancer cells are your cells, so no matter what receptor they are expressing, somewhere else in the body there's a healthy cell also expressing that receptor--that is the reason cancer is so hard to fight. For instance, there are some melanomas that express a testis specific receptor that no other skin cell has. Use this technique in a man against the melanoma, and you'll sterilize him too.

Moreover, different cancers express different receptor suites. The issue is very complex and difficult, that's why it's taking us so long to find a way to fight cancer. This technique has huge promise if one can localize the beads to just where the cancer is, as likely all the surrounding tissue will not have the cancer's receptors, and if you keep the beads in the tumor, they can't go through the blood stream to find the healthy cells with those receptors.

If we do find a way to target the receptors only ever found on cancer cells (maybe they express an embryo specific receptor, or an unknown one that is unique to them? ), or find a way to target cancer cells based on the number of receptors they have (they usually have far more than any healthy cell), then we'll have an easy, simple cure that would be no harder to use than popping a pill.

In the end this isn't about killing 100% of the cancer cells, as arsenic can do that too, but about not hurting 100% of the rest of the cells in your body at the same time.

RE: on the way
By Adonlude on 4/14/2008 5:02:36 PM , Rating: 3
Excellent points about healthy cells expressing the same receptors elsewhere in the body. It is worth noting though that the RF used to cook the cancer cells can be focused very easily. It should not be difficult to focus the energy only where the cancer is believed to be.

RE: on the way
By geddarkstorm on 4/15/2008 12:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
That definitely makes this technique more powerful than any yet, if that's the case (I don't see why it wouldn't be).

RE: on the way
By Suomynona on 4/17/2008 12:18:12 PM , Rating: 2
Good point on focusing the RF beam, that will make this treatment a lot more viable even if one is unable to come up with a "homing device" (sorry, don't know the medical term. Receptor proteins?) that is 100%. It would however limit the use to types of cancer that are local and does not spread out through the body.

RE: on the way
By jkresh on 4/14/2008 6:08:56 PM , Rating: 2
I think you missinterpreted this, while there are groups working on nanomachines that could go and kill cancer/bacteria/virus/remove plack, they are much farther away. There are no nanomachines in this just particles, basically a protein with a gold bead attached bonds to a cancer cell, when exposed to rf the gold bead gets really hot, which kills the cell it bonds to (and maybe a few around it but it dissipates quickly), there is no programming (outside of choosing the proteins) and once used they can't be used again (as the proteins used for binding would also be destroyed so it would just be a gold particle with no way of having it bind to anything, it would likely pass out of your system relatively quickly).

RE: on the way
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 4/15/2008 8:39:46 AM , Rating: 2
Whoa, why would some evil genius program gold nano particles to destroy brain cells when they can do that already with lead macro particles, gunpowder, and a trusty sidearm? That sort of thinking is what allowed Batman and Robin to get away every time. The Penguin should have just pooped a cap, as it were.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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