Electromagnetic fields may hinder spread cancer cells
Cancer’s ability to spread throughout the body can turn a curable case into an aggressive and sometimes fatal one. A team of engineers and cancer biologists may have found a way to slow down, and even stop, the migration of breast cancer cells.
Tracking cancer spread
A new study, published in Communications Biology, has found that these electromagnetic fields are effective in halting the spread of some breast cancercells.
However, a team from Ohio State University have built a tool that could target cancer cell migration. Referred to as a Helmholtz coil, the researchers used it to apply an even amount of electromagnetic energy to a range of breast cancer cells.
The team also constructed an instrument that could track the direction of cell movement via a microscope.
Although the researchers carried out the test in a lab rather than in the human body, lead author Jonathan Song says that this apparatus could imitate “what actually happens in the body in a controllable environment.”
Song — who is an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the university — and his team did not know if the cells would respond to the electromagnetic energy.
But they did. In fact, the team was able to examine precisely how such energy impacted the shape and movement of the cancer cells.