Targeted ultrasound kills cancer cells while sparing healthy ones

Ultrasound therapies are regularly used to destroy tumours without invasive surgery. Credit: Shutterstock

(Chloe Kent/ MedicalDevice-Network) — Ultrasound waves of scaled intensity and frequency have shown promise in breaking apart different types of cancer cells without harming healthy blood cells.

The waves are able to exploit the physical and structural properties of tumour cells, and could eventually offer a safer treatment option for cancer patients.

The research, which was carried out at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and City of Hope Beckman Research Institute, has now been published in Applied Physics Letters.

Caltech PhD candidate David Mittelstein said: “This project shows that ultrasound can be used to target cancer cells based on their mechanical properties. (…)

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