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Japanese Researchers Develop Material For Killing Cancer Cells

Japanese researchers claim to have developed a thin fiber that can be applied to tumors to kill cancer cells more effectively while leaving healthy cells with less detrimental effect.

Researchers led by Mitsuhiro Ebara at the National Institute for Materials Science near Tokyo developed what they call a "nanofiber mesh." The material is about one-2,000th of a millimeter thick and contains anti-cancer drugs and magnetic nanoparticles, Japan's NHK broadcaster reported on Tuesday.

It can simultaneously perform chemotherapy as well as thermotherapy, which have to be conducted separately under current treatments for cancer.

The researchers claimed that when they applied the fiber to cultured cancer cells, it was found seven percent more effective in killing cancer cells than when only anti-cancer drugs were used.

They said that because the fiber will be placed directly on the tumors, the anti-cancer drugs in the mesh will have less detrimental effects on healthy cells. The researchers also said that an alternating magnetic field must be applied to heat the nanofiber mesh.

The researchers hope to confirm the fiber's effects and safety on mice so that it can then go onto human trials.

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