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LATEST UPDATES » Vol 24, No. 09, September 2020 – 3D Technology: Additive Manufacturing Applications and Prospects       » Results of CD30 CAR-T Cell Therapy Trial Shows Promise for Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients       » Emerging Technologies and Innovations amid a Global Pandemic       » Monitoring COVID-19 Patients with AI-powered Platform       » Singapore Researchers Devise a Rapid COVID-19 Test Kit for the Detection of Neutralising Antibodies (NAbs) Against SARS-CoV-2       » Novel Ventilator Conceptualized by Singapore Clinicians Provides Efficient and Personalized Breathing Support for COVID-19 patients      
Vol 24, No. 09, September 2020   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
EYE ON CHINA
A Novel Magnetic Hyperthermia Therapy for Tumour Ablation using Magnesium Alloys
A novel method for tumour ablation using implanted magnesium alloy rods has been developed. The rods induce tumour destruction via eddy current heating induced by an external alternating magnetic field.

Magnetic hyperthermia therapy (MHT) is an experimental cancer therapy that utilises magnetocaloric agents to destroy tumours. During MHT, magnetocaloric agents (typically magnetic nanoparticles) are administered into tumours, and an external alternating magnetic field (AMF) is applied, which causes the nanoparticles to generate heat, ablating the tumours.

MHT is a non-invasive local treatment strategy and is carries certain advantages over other hyperthermal therapies, notably that there is no limit to the depth of tissue it can penetrate, and that is does not heat surrounding, non-targeted tissue.

Despite this, clinical use is rare as the magnetic nanoparticles currently used can only be heated effectively under strong AMFs and carry some safety concerns. Therefore, there is a demand for new magnetocaloric agents which have stronger AMF-induced heating and excellent biocompatibility.

In an article published in the National Science Review, Professors Zhuang Liu and Liang Cheng from Soochow University reported the use of a non-magnetic magnesium alloy (MgA) as a novel MHT agent. They utilised the eddy thermal effect of bulk conductors within an AMF as a heating mechanism, rather than the relaxation loss of metal nanoparticles.

In bulk conductors, such as metals, an eddy current is induced within the material when it is placed in an AMF. This induced current generates heat, and the thermal effect is particularly strong when the resistivity of the material is low. As this method of heating is so effective, only a low field intensity AMF is required to generate sufficiently high temperatures.

The researchers demonstrated that MgA rods, composed of magnesium, zinc and calcium with a ratio of 97.7: 2.0: 0.3 respectively, were able to destroy tumour cells in vitro and in vivo effectively and accurately.

MgA rods were implanted into, and successfully destroyed, mouse tumours upon exposure to a low-intensity AMF. This was repeated with larger VX2 tumours in rabbits to the same effect. The implanted MgA rods showed excellent biocompatibility and approximately 20 percent of their mass had degraded after three months.

This study is the first example of MgA being used for tumoricidal purposes, broadening its applications in biomedicine. It provides a new strategy for accurate and effective tumour treatment under a low-field-intensity AMF in a minimally invasive manner and works for deep-set and large tumours. As MgA is already a popular material for medical implants, further development of this technique holds great promise for clinical translation.

 

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