According to the National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment in 2020, approximately 78,000 Nigerians lost their lives because of complications related to cancer. Out of this number, 44,699 were females and 34,200 were males.
Over the past thirty years, despite medical advancements, the number of new cancer cases continues to rise annually. One significant factor contributing to this trend is the increasing ageing population. While researchers tirelessly work towards finding a cure, no method has proven entirely effective, at least until now.
The breakthrough of the molecular jackhammer
A groundbreaking study published in the journal Nature on December 19, 2023, revealed a successful application of molecular jackhammers, destroying nearly 99% of cancer cells using this innovative technique. The researchers also conducted successful tests on mice with melanoma tumours, with half of the rodents witnessing the disappearance of their cancer.
How does this technique operate? It leverages a molecule called aminocyanine, a synthetic fluorescent dye commonly used in medical imaging, which attaches to the outer layer of cells. Stimulated by infrared-like light, the molecule vibrates, effectively breaking the membrane of cancer cells. This discovery is part of the broader application of molecular machines in the fight against cancer. The advantage of using near-infrared light lies in its ability to penetrate deep into the body, accessing organs or bones without causing damage to tissues.
These molecular jackhammers show promise in treating cancers within bones and organs with no surgical intervention. “This new technique could eliminate 99% of cancer cells and prevent relapses,” explains Ciceron Ayala-Orozco, a chemist at Rice University (Texas) and co-author of the study. It’s crucial to highlight that another understanding of how these molecules function has been uncovered.
While these mark the initial stages, further studies are required to evaluate the effectiveness of this new method. Nevertheless, scientists view this discovery as highly promising. Additionally, this biomechanical treatment, utilising a molecular machine, hinders cancer cells from adapting and finding new ways to attach to the organism. Consequently, once in remission, this treatment acts as a barrier, preventing cancer from reemerging and reducing the risks of relapse to zero. Undoubtedly, a revolutionary development in the fight against cancer.
This article was syndicated from Marie Claire France
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer