Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of death among men in Europe, but new scientific research from Leicester University now offers hope of earlier detection and better cure rates.
The discovery hinges on microscopic nanoparticles which seek out and destroy prostate cancer cells. Each particle is only one-fiftieth of the width of a human hair and is attached to molecules that stick to prostate cancer cells. They are also magnetic, so they can be seen on an MRI scan, making early detection possible. The nanoparticles spot small changes in the prostate gland which would not even show up on the blood test. Once the tumour is located, the nanoparticles are hit with radio waves, releasing a burst of heat that kills the cancer cells leaving the neighbouring healthy cells un-harmed. Although the research is still at an early stage, scientist hope it could lead to prostate cancer detection up to a year before any symptoms emerge – as well as offering treatment hope to cancer patients worldwide.