Cancer treatment could be more effective due to the use of nanoparticles, according to new research.
Scientists at the University of Mexico have concluded that biopsies may be more accurate and sensitive if nanoparticles are used to transform harmful cancer cells into 'mini magnets'.
Biopsies are often painful and invasive for patients but are essential in ensuring that the correct cancer treatment is prescribed. However, the results can be ambiguous and tests often need repeating.
Yet, New Scientist reports that the researchers are hopeful that using magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles encased in a biocompatible material could bind to chemicals found only in cancerous cells to provide clearer results.
It also thought that the new methods could be used to identify cells from cancers that have spread to other areas of the body by collecting small samples using an ordinary needle.
The next step for the nanoparticle treatment is to seek approval for tests on human patients to confirm the effectiveness of the technology.