A research team from Rice University and The Methodist Hospital Research Institute are working to turn two of the most promising technologies in cancer detection and treatment into a composite, targeted treatment regiment. The team makes use of Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI), which has been instrumental in helping doctors triangulate the exact position of tumors in the body, as well as nanotechnology which has shown promise for potentially delivering cancer medication directly to the tumor cells.
The Rice University and Methodist Hospital Research Institute have developed silicon mesoporous particles (SiMPS) embedded with iron oxide nanoparticles. The technology would work by using the magnetic waves from the MRI machine to guide iron-laden particles to the tumor. There, the magnetic energy would be used once again to heat up the particles and destroy the tumor cells. The treatment is still in the pre-clinical phase and not yet ready for human trials, but the development is already being praised for its elegance and the potential it shows.