Cancer treatments are often opposed to two major problems: the connection of tumors with healthy tissues and the physical resistance of these tumors. A French team has developed a new method to circumvent these two problems. This is nanohyperthermia.
Different forms of cancer kill around eight million people worldwide each year. The fight against cancer is often hampered by the physical resistance of tumors and the collateral damage caused by treatments. Stiffening of tumors caused by abnormal organization of collagen fibers and extracellular matrices can promote cancer cell proliferation and migration of metastases while forming a barrier limiting the diffusion of therapeutic agents into the tumor.
To circumvent this problem while avoiding attacking healthy tissue, a team of French researchers explains that they have made the tumors » more vulnerable to treatment products ” thanks to a process called nanohyperthermia consisting in heating the tumors to better weaken them. In mice, carbon nanotubes, injected directly into the tumour, were activated by near-infrared light. The laser then acts only in the nanotube accumulation zones, which will heat up under its action “, write the researchers in a press release from the CNRS.
» During two sessions one day apart, tumors were heated to 52°C for three minutes. They first stiffened, before gradually softening in the ten days following the treatment. “, add researchers from CNRS, INSERM, Paris Descartes University and Paris Diderot University.
If this technique also proves effective in humans, it would become a valuable ally to chemotherapy in order to destroy the remaining cancer cells once and for all.