Drugs and Disco Lights Trick Cancer Cells into Killing Themselves

By Gary Cutlack on at

The ongoing battle against cancer has tipped imperceptibly in favour of humanity, thanks to a new method of attacking inaccessible and inoperable cancers with a combination of drugs and lights. They call it: Acid.

The new technique is called photodynamic therapy, and couples two things together -- an injection of nitrobenzaldehyde and a bright light -- to encourage the cancer cells to kill themselves. It works by the nitrobenzaldehyde being injected into a cluster of cancerous cells, then using light to initiate a chemical reaction. This reaction makes the cells become too acidic and start to die.

Professor Matthew Gdovin from the University of Texas at San Antonio explained: "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 tumor larger and larger."

However, the initial test of the drugs/light cell super-acidic hack apparently killed cancerous cells inside 95 per cent of mice within two hours, making it a hopeful contender to be added to our battery of existing cancer treatments. [SKY News]

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