Jenny Hogan blogs for Nature.com: “The historic city of Edinburgh in Scotland is this week hosting hundreds of scientists and politicians discussing “Nanotechnology and the Health of the EU Citizen in 2020” [pdf] at the aptly named EuroNanoForum 2005 meeting…
“[Using iron oxide nanoparticles to treat cancer], we are told, is the first anti-cancer therapy that uses nanoparticles to have entered clinical trials. It is being developed by a company called Magforce, based in Germany.
“The approach seems very simple: the iron oxide nanoparticles are coated to prevent them irritating the immune system, then injected directly into the tumour. Next the patient is exposed to an alternating magnetic field, and the magnetic nanoparticles become very hot. Because they are localized to the tumour, the heating destroys the cancerous cells without harming the tissue around it.
“And what happens to the nanoparticles? They seem to end up in the spleen, causing no adverse reaction.”