By using titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles stimulating by microwaves to trigger the death of cancer cells without damaging the normal cells around them. The method is called microwave inducing radical therapy; which the team refering to as microdynamic therapy, or MDT.
The use of TiO2 nanoparticles activated by light and ultrasound in cancer treatments has been studied extensively; but this marks the first time researchers have showing that the nanoparticles can be effectively activating by microwaves for cancer cell destruction potentially opening new doors to treatment for patients fighting the disease.
Nanoparticles concept by titanium dioxide
The new therapy centers on reactive oxygen species, or ROS, which are a natural byproduct of the body’s metabolism of oxygen. ROS help kill toxins in the body, but can also be damaging to cells if they reach a critical level.
But TiO2 enters cells and produces ROS, which are able to damage plasma membranes; mitochondria and DNA, causing cell death. Cancer cells are characterized by a higher steady-state saturation of ROS than normal; healthy cells. This new therapy allows us to exploit that by raising the saturation of ROS in cancer cells to a critical level that triggers cell death without pushing the normal cells to that same threshold.
While TiO2 and low power microwave irradiation alone did not effectively kill cancer cells; the combination of the two proving successful in creating a toxic effect for the tumor cells. Microwave ablation therapy has already proven to be an effective treatment against bone cancer; obtaining better results than MDT.
However, MDT has applications for combatting other types of cancer; not just the osteosarcomas used for this pilot case. This new discovery is exciting because it potentially creates new avenues for treating cancer patients without causing debilitating side effects. The effectiveness of TiO2 nanoparticles for microwave induced radical therapy demonstrating; that this is a new landmark approach to treating cancers.