Nuclear science and magnetic carbon: a promising way from a chemical method to detect and fight cancer and tumors/neoplasms (2023)

Developing MAGUS®

Taking this scenario into consideration we have been working on the use of magnetic carbon/graphite to deliver different compounds to fight many diseases. We know that the development of a new and efficient drug delivery system is as important as the discovery of a novel active molecule. Thus, based on nanostructured magnetic carbon/graphite we have built a drug delivery system named MAGUS®, which is an acronym for Magnetic Graphite Universal System. We have assembled this innovative and promising system as a biosensor composed of a biocompatible carbon particle functionalized with different molecules simultaneously. We reported how to obtain this magnetic carbon/graphite in 2005 and 2006 [5,6] by following an inexpensive chemical route consisting of a controlled chemical etching on the graphite structure, performed by a redox reaction in a closed system between pure carbon/graphite and copper oxide (CuO). It allows getting macroscopic amounts of magnetic carbon/graphite stable at room temperature and even above. X-ray diffraction measurements suggest that magnetic carbon/graphite could be represented by the coexistence of a matrix of pristine graphite and a foamy-like carbon/graphitic structure compressed along the c-axis. At T = 300 K, the saturation magnetic moment, the coercive field, and the remnant magnetization are 0.25 emu/g, 350 Oe, and 0.04 emu/g, respectively. Besides the phase transition at 300 K, it is possible to observe a low-temperature anomaly in the dependence of the zero-field-cooled magnetization in samples with an average granular size L of about 10nm. We have attributed it to the manifestation of the side effects below the quantum temperature TL∝ℏ2/L2. This behavior is well-fitted by a periodic function proportional to the bulk magnetization and the thermal De Broglie wavelength [7]. Related to that behavior, we have proposed a theoretical interpretation for both intragranular and intergranular contributions based, respectively, on super-exchange interaction between defects-induced localized spins in a single grain and proximity-mediated interaction between grains through the barriers created by thin layers of non-magnetic carbon/graphite [7]. In 2015, we experimentally confirmed that magnetism in carbon/graphite originates from defects in the structure (and not from ferromagnetic impurities of any type) from direct measurement of the local magnetic field using Carbon-13 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) associated with the numerical results obtained from DFT (Density-Functional Theory) calculations. These experiments allowed us, for the first time, to directly evaluate the local hyperfine magnetic field in magnetic carbon/graphite samples corroborating the intrinsic and true nature of the magnetism. A comparison of the experimental hyperfine fields to DFT calculations showed reasonable agreement, supporting the view that magnetism originates from various defects in the material structure [8,9].

Developing MAGUS® associated to a conventional drug (Ibuprofen®)

We have verified the efficiency of this new drug delivery system by developing a magnetic bio-hybrid system from the assembly of the biopolymer alginate and magnetic carbon/graphite [9]. In this case, we have nanostructured the magnetic carbon/graphite particles as a nanofluid [10,11]. The drug Ibuprofen® (IBU) intercalated in a Mg–Al Layered Double Hydroxide (LDH) was chosen as a model of a drug delivery system to be incorporated as a third component of the magnetic bio-nanocomposite drug delivery system. The IBU was incorporated either as the pure drug or as the LDH–IBU intercalation compound and processed as beads or films for application as drug release systems. The presence of magnetic carbon/graphite nanoparticles improved the physical and mechanical properties of the resulting bionanocomposites, decreasing the speed of drug delivery due to the protective effect as a physical barrier against water absorption into the beads. The control on the release rate was specially improved when the drug was incorporated as the LDH–IBU intercalation compound, this fact was attributed to the additional physical barrier afforded by the inorganic layered host solid. These bio-nanocomposite systems could be stimulated by an external magnetic field as well, enhancing the levels of the released IBU, which would be advantageous to modulate the dose of the released drug when required [12].

Developing MAGUS® associated with radioactive particles

Besides the work carrying IBU described previously, we have also verified the concept and well-functioning of this complex carrier system by using the nanostructured biocompatible magnetic carbon/graphite functionalized with different cancer antibodies focusing on the antigen-antibody interaction besides other molecules and materials. These targeting techniques include functionalizing the magnetic carbon/graphite with radioactive nanoparticles like Technetium-99m, Indium-11, and Iodine-131. These radioactive nanoparticles can be produced by either synthesizing the nanoparticles directly from the radioactive materials or by irradiating non-radioactive particles with neutrons or accelerated ions [13]. Following this principle, at the present time, we are functionalizing the nanostructured biocompatible magnetic carbon/graphite with both Iodone-131 radioactive particles and the corresponding cancer antibody for targeting cancer cells (Figure 1). This isotope decays with a physical half-life of 8 days to stable Xe-131. It releases radiation during the decay process by emitting beta particles and gamma. The beta particles travel about 2 mm in tissue, thereby ensuring local treatment of the cancer tumor by causing mutation and death in cells that it penetrates. For this reason, high doses of the isotope are sometimes less dangerous than low doses since they tend to kill normal tissues that would otherwise become cancerous because of the radiation. Thus, Iodine-131 is increasingly less employed in small doses in medical use but increasingly is used only in large and maximal treatment doses, as a way of killing targeted cancer tissues. Iodine-131 is given for therapeutic use since about 10% of its energy and radiation dose is via gamma radiation while the other 90% is the beta radiation mentioned before.

Nuclear science and magnetic carbon: a promising way from a chemical method to detect and fight cancer and tumors/neoplasms (1)
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Figure 1: (a) Sketch of MAGUS®, the nanostructured drug delivery system consisting of magnetic carbon/graphite functionalized with a radioactive particle of Iodine-131 for cancer irradiation treatment and the corresponding antigen-antibody interaction; (b) Interactions of those particles with cancer/tumoral tissue through antigen-antibody driven force; both figures show the radiation from Iodine-131 (beta and gamma).

Developing MAGUS® associated with boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT)

Another promising application we are at present working on is based on MAGUS® associated with Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT). This technique uses neutrons as the external source and is frequently used to treat specific tumors that are radio resistant or very difficult to kill using conventional radiation therapy [14].

It can be employed as a standalone radiation therapy or in combination with conventional radiotherapy methods. Some examples where it has proven to be very powerful and effective are in treating salivary gland tumors and certain forms of cancer, such as adenoid cystic carcinoma, inoperable/recurrent salivary gland malignancies resistant to standard low-LET radiotherapies and glioblastoma (high-grade glioma, GBM), a prevalent and aggressive brain tumor [15].

The BNCT uses Boron-containing drugs to deliver a natural isotope of the Boron-10 to tumors and while it is confined to tumors, as radionuclides tend to accumulate at the sites of tissue damage, a subsequent bombardment with neutrons provides an isotope of Lithium-7 and an alpha particle with a short range of action [13]. It means that the alpha particle deploys an amount of energy that is delivered in a high linear energy transfer (LET) due to its nature. In that case, their high energy will be delivered along their very brief pathway (<10 μm) conveying about 150 keV/μm. In other words, the dose is deposited inside a pathway that is the size of the diameter of a single cell [16].

Neutrons’ biological impact on cells is greater than other types of radiation. Since surprisingly they do not damage equally all cells, there are cases in which they can be more damaging to cancerous cells than to healthy cells surrounding cancer. Therefore, for the same amount of radiation, a lethal dose can be delivered to the cancer cells, while a sub-lethal dose is delivered to the healthy tissue reducing the chances of cell damage or death. Used thoroughly, this different impact can be an advantage in certain treatments. In general, neutron therapy shows high efficiency in the treatment of recurrent voluminous tumors of complex localization [16]. The approach we are working on for the BNCT application is based on functionalizing the nanostructured biocompatible magnetic carbon/graphite with Boron-10 (instead of Iodine-131) with the antibodies mentioned before. Then, we apply an external magnetic field to redirect the Boron-10 and employ the fast neutron dose more efficiently at the tumor, making it necessary for a lower dose to accomplish the same results. This is especially important for BNCT because fast neutron therapy is limited by high toxicity. And that is why we are providing once again to the system a double way to exclusively reach the target and not the healthy cells around increasing its efficiency and performance.

It is important to highlight that, by using both the interaction antigen-antibody and the guidance through an external magnetic field, we are affording our drug delivery system a double way to reach and act only the target, i.e., cancer and not the healthy cells around. Moreover, the target- specificity achieved by our delivery system MAGUS® comes from years of research of our group and represents a pioneering and effective way to treat cancer.


How carbon nanotubes are used in cancer treatment? ›

Through appropriate functionalization, CNTs have been used as nanocarriers to transport anticancer drugs, genes, and proteins for chemotherapy. They have also been used as mediators for photothermal therapy (PTT) and photodynamic therapy (PDT) to directly destroy cancer cells.

How is nuclear chemistry used in cancer treatment? ›

Nuclear medicine combines the precision of targeted therapy with the power of radiation therapy. It uses radioactive drugs called radiopharmaceuticals. These drugs home in on cancer cells and bombard them with radiation, causing them to stop growing or die. Doctors have been using nuclear medicine for decades.

How does nuclear energy help cancer? ›

What makes nuclear medicine therapy effective is the use of radioactive molecules as a drug (molecular radiotherapy). The drug recognizes tumor cells. It's injected intravenously, then circulates in the body, sticks to the tumor cells, delivers radiation directly and causes them to die.

How nanotechnology can be used to treat cancer? ›

Nanotechnology offers the means to target therapies directly and selectively to cancerous cells and neoplasms. With these tools, clinicians can safely and effectively deliver chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and the next generation of immuno- and gene therapies to the tumor.

Is carbon used to treat cancer? ›

Carbon ion radiation therapy (CIRT) is the most advanced radiation therapy (RT) available and offers new opportunities to improve cancer treatment and research. CIRT has a unique physical and biological advantage that allow them to kill tumor cells more accurately and intensively.

Which carbon is used for cancer? ›

Carbon nanomaterials can be adopted as effective tools to combine with many treatment modalities like chemotherapy, gene therapy, phototherapy and immunotherapy, which also serve as efficient drug carriers to target both cancer cells and the surrounding tumor microenvironment.

What cancers are treated with nuclear medicine? ›

Nuclear medicine therapy is a cancer treatment that uses radioactive drugs that bind to cancer cells and destroy them. This therapy is an option for some people with neuroendocrine tumors, prostate cancer, meningiomas, thyroid cancer and lymphoma.

What is the best scan to detect cancer? ›

A CT scan (also known as a computed tomography scan, CAT scan, and spiral or helical CT) can help doctors find cancer and show things like a tumor's shape and size. CT scans are most often an outpatient procedure. The scan is painless and takes about 10 to 30 minutes.

What is the new radiation treatment for cancer? ›

Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy that uses protons rather than x-rays. It painlessly delivers radiation to treat some types of cancer. Proton therapy is a promising new type of cancer treatment, but its possible benefit over traditional radiation therapy is still being studied.

What uses energy to destroy cancer cells shrink tumors and ease cancer symptoms? ›

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is a cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.

Who treats tumors using high-energy radiation? ›

Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-ray or other particles to destroy cancer cells. A doctor who specializes in giving radiation therapy to treat cancer is called a radiation oncologist.

Can nuclear medicine detect cancer? ›

Nuclear medicine scans ( also known as nuclear imaging, radionuclide imaging, and nuclear scans) can help doctors find tumors and see how much the cancer has spread in the body (called the cancer's stage). They may also be used to decide if treatment is working.

What is the new nanotech to detect cancer early? ›

Researcher Joshua Smith is developing a nanobiotechnology "cancer alarm" that scans for traces of disease in the form of special biomarkers called exosomes. In this forward-thinking talk, he shares his dream for how we might revolutionize cancer detection and, ultimately, save lives.

When will nanobots make us immortal? ›

In his book, the scientist predicted that technology will allow humans to enjoy an everlasting life by 2030.

Can cancer be cured with nanoparticles? ›

Nanoparticles can be channeled in cancer therapy to encapsulate active pharmaceutical ingredients and deliver them to the tumor site in a more efficient manner. This review enumerates various types of nanoparticles that have entered clinical trials for cancer treatment.

What gas is used to destroy cancer cells? ›

Cryosurgery uses extreme cold produced by liquid nitrogen or argon gas to destroy cancer cells.

What is the new molecule that kills hard to treat cancers? ›

The researchers found that ERX-41 successfully killed human cancer cells in mice without significantly harming healthy cells. The idea to kill cancer cells by stressing out the endoplasmic reticulum isn't new. However, ERX-41 does so by binding to LIPA in a way that is not well-studied.

What is the main fuel for cancer? ›

Sugar comes in many different forms, but the simplest form is a single molecule called glucose. All cells, including cancer cells, use glucose as their primary fuel.

Which plant contain chemicals that combat cancer? ›

Other plants that have shown anticarcinogenic properties include Anacardium occidentale in hepatoma, Asparagus racemosa in human epidermoid carcinoma, Boswellia serrata in human epidermal carcinoma of the nasopharynx, Erthyrina suberosa in sarcoma, Euphorbia hirta in Freund virus leukemia, Gynandropis pentaphylla in ...

What are two fuels for cancer? ›

Cancer's fuel choice. Cancer cells can take up glucose, glutamine, amino acids, lysophospholipids, acetate, and extracellular protein and use these fuels to supply their pools of macromolecular precursors for cellular proliferation.

Which metal is used in treatment of cancer? ›

Platinum is well known for its anticancer activity, firstly used as cis-diaminedichloroplatinum (II) (CDDP), with a wide range of activity. Its main mechanism of action involves its binding to DNA.

What is the success rate of nuclear medicine? ›

The long-term outcome from this approach must depend upon the relative uptake between the nodule(s) and the normal thyroid tissue. In patients where a target absorbed dose was determined, a success rate of up to 100 % has been achieved.

Can you drive after a nuclear scan? ›

You will then return to nuclear medicine for the stress images. These images will show the blood flow to the heart at the time of peak exercise, even though you have recovered from the exercise. After the test you will be able to drive home.

What are the side effects of nuclear medicine? ›

Side Effects of Radiation
  • skin reactions - tanning and redness similar to a sunburn can occur gradually during treatment, peaking after treatment ends. ...
  • sore throat and/or mouth.
  • difficulty and/or pain with swallowing.
  • hoarseness.
  • soreness or swelling in the neck.
  • weight loss or dehydration.

What is the hardest cancer to detect? ›

Pancreatic cancer is hard to find early. The pancreas is deep inside the body, so early tumors can't be seen or felt by health care providers during routine physical exams. People usually have no symptoms until the cancer has become very large or has already spread to other organs.

Is there a new test to detect cancers? ›

The MCED test can flag a signal for cancers like bone, liver, kidney, pancreas, stomach and more, which often go undetected until symptoms occur in later stages.

What is the easiest cancer to detect? ›

Melanoma is a cancer of the skin, and it has a high survival rate because it is easy to detect in this part of the body.

What is the most advanced radiation therapy machine? ›

IGRT | Image Guided Radiation Therapy IGRT stands for Image Guided Radiation Therapy IGRT stands for Image Guided Radiation Therapy and is the most advanced technology to track cancer and spare normal tissues.

What is the strongest radiation therapy? ›

Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) uses multiple radiation beams of different intensities. As the treatment machine rotates, radiation is delivered at every angle. This focuses the highest dose of radiation on the tumor, while reducing radiation to healthy organs.

What is the most advanced radiation therapy? ›

Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT)

SBRT is one of the most advanced forms of radiation therapy available for cancer patients.

What activates cancer? ›

Cancer is caused by changes to DNA. Most cancer-causing DNA changes occur in sections of DNA called genes. These changes are also called genetic changes. A DNA change can cause genes involved in normal cell growth to become oncogenes.

How do you destroy cancer cells? ›

Because cancer cells divide much more often than most normal cells, chemotherapy is much more likely to kill them. Some drugs kill dividing cells by damaging the part of the cell's control centre that makes it divide. Other drugs interrupt the chemical processes involved in cell division.

What gives you energy when you have cancer? ›

Drinking lots of fluids and eating well can help keep your energy reserves up. If nausea and vomiting make it hard to eat, talk to your doctor about these side effects. Get moving. Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, riding a bike and swimming, throughout the week may help you preserve your energy level.

What your oncologist doesn t tell you? ›

In some cases, oncologists fail to tell patients how long they have to live. In others, patients are clearly told their prognosis, but are too overwhelmed to absorb the information.

What tumors are caused by radiation therapy? ›

Past radiation exposure is one risk factor for most kinds of leukemia, including acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Who is the oncologist who will refuse all? ›

In 2014, Ezekiel Emanuel—a health policy expert, medical ethicist, and oncologist—wrote an infamous article in The Atlantic called "Why I Hope to Die at 75." Now, just 10 years from his 75th birthday, Emanuel speaks with The Times' Helen Rumbelow to explain why he will likely maintain his position to stop accepting all ...

What are the risks of nuclear medicine scan? ›

Radiation doses are usually higher than in common imaging like x-rays. This means these procedures are slightly more likely to increase the possibility you may get cancer later in life. Some nuclear medicine procedures are longer and use more radiation than others. These could cause skin reddening and hair loss.

What does cancer look like on a nuclear bone scan? ›

Because cancer cells multiply rapidly, they will appear as a hot spot on a bone scan. This is due to the increased bone metabolism and bone repair in the area of the cancer cells. Bone scans may also be used to stage the cancer before and after treatment in order to assess the effectiveness of the treatment.

Is there a full body scan for cancer? ›

Full-body scans are offered as early cancer detection tests by some imaging and medical centers. This procedure isn't recommended by any major medical association. Full-body scans haven't been shown to be effective as an early cancer detection method.

What machine detects cancer? ›

MRI (also known as magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance, MR, and nuclear magnetic resonance [NMR] imaging) helps doctors find cancer in the body and look for signs that it has spread. MRI also can help doctors plan cancer treatment, like surgery or radiation.

Which technology can help detect cancer early? ›

Past research has shown that screening with low-dose CT scans can reduce the risk of death from lung cancer by 24%, because they can help detect cancer sooner, when it's more treatable.

What are two types of cancer that AI can detect? ›

Scientists in NCI's intramural research program are leveraging the capabilities of AI to improve cancer screening in cervical and prostate cancer. NCI investigators developed a deep learning approach for the automated detection of precancerous cervical lesions from digital images.

Can you disable nanobots? ›

In case of failure or malfunction, a small EMP or an MRI could be used to deactivate the nanobots. Both techniques induce an electromagnetic field, corrupting the memory and shorting out the circuitry of any electronic device within range.

What are the dangers of nanobots? ›

Two potential hazards are highlighted: (i) the use of hazardous materials and UV light in nanorobots, and (ii) the loss of propulsion/targeting control.

Can nanobots be injected into a human body? ›

The clinical use of nanorobots for diagnostic, therapy, and surgery can be accomplished by injecting them via an intravenous route. The nanorobots may be getting intravenously injected into the body of the recipient.

What Dr cures cancer with nanoparticles? ›

Hadiyah-Nicole Green is an American medical physicist known for the development of a method using laser-activated nanoparticles as a potential cancer treatment. She is one of 66 black women to earn a Ph. D.
Hadiyah-Nicole Green
Known forCancer therapy, precision medicine, immunotherapy, nanotechnology
7 more rows

How do you get rid of nanoparticles in your body? ›

Even insoluble nanoparticles which reach the finely branched alveoli in the lungs can be removed by macrophage cells engulfing them and carrying them out to the mucus, but only 20 to 30 per cent of them are cleared in this way. Nanoparticles in the blood can also be filtered out by the kidneys and excreted in urine.

Who is the woman who cures cancer with nanoparticles? ›

Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green — a multi-disciplinary physicist and the second African American woman to graduate with a Ph. D. in physics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham — has become the first to successfully cure cancer using laser-activated nanoparticles.

What are the health benefits of nuclear energy? ›

Nuclear not only preserves the environment, but also our public health. Nuclear avoids harmful emissions that cause smog and acid rain, which contributes to health issues like asthma, heart disease and lung cancer.

What are 3 benefits of nuclear radiation? ›

Today, radiation is a common and valuable tool in medicine, research and industry. It is used in medicine to diagnose illnesses, and in high doses, to treat diseases such as cancer. Also, high doses of radiation are used to kill harmful bacteria in food and to extend the shelf life of fresh produce.

How does nuclear radiation affect cancer? ›

It causes cancer primarily because it damages DNA, which can lead to cancer-causing gene mutations. Children and adolescents can be more sensitive to the cancer-causing effects of ionizing radiation than adults because their bodies are still growing and developing.

What are 3 benefits of nuclear energy or radiation? ›

The advantages of nuclear power are:

One of the most low-carbon energy sources. It also has one of the smallest carbon footprints. It's one of the answers to the energy gap. It's essential to our response to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

What is the biggest disadvantage of nuclear energy? ›

Nuclear energy produces radioactive waste

A major environmental concern related to nuclear power is the creation of radioactive wastes such as uranium mill tailings, spent (used) reactor fuel, and other radioactive wastes. These materials can remain radioactive and dangerous to human health for thousands of years.

What is one disadvantage of using nuclear energy? ›

Disadvantages of nuclear energy

Uranium is technically non-renewable. Very high upfront costs. Nuclear waste. Malfunctions can be catastrophic.

How do you remove radiation from your body? ›

Use soap and plenty of water. If you do not have access to a sink or faucet, use a moist wipe, clean wet cloth, or a damp paper towel to wipe the parts of your body that were uncovered. Pay special attention to your hands and face.

How can you protect yourself from radiation? ›

Staying inside will reduce your exposure to radiation.
Stay Inside
  1. Close and lock windows and doors.
  2. Take a shower or wipe exposed parts of your body with a damp cloth.
  3. Drink bottled water and eat food in sealed containers.

What is the most common cancer caused by radiation? ›

Studies have linked radiation therapy to treat cancer with an increased risk of leukemia, thyroid cancer, early-onset breast cancer, and some other cancers later in life. The increase in risk depends on a number of factors, including: The dose of radiation. The part of the body being treated.

What cancer is caused by nuclear weapons? ›

Cancer investigators have been studying the health effects of radioactive fallout for decades, making radiation one of the best-understood agents of environmental injury. The legacy of open-air nuclear weapons testing includes a small but significant increase in thyroid cancer, leukemia and certain solid tumors.

What kind of cancer does nuclear radiation cause? ›

Cancers associated with high dose exposure include leukemia, breast, bladder, colon, liver, lung, esophagus, ovarian, multiple myeloma, and stomach cancers.

Can nuclear radiation be beneficial? ›

Nuclear medicine procedures are used in diagnosing and treating certain illnesses. These procedures use radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals. Examples of diseases treated with nuclear medicine procedures are hyperthyroidism, thyroid cancer, lymphomas, and bone pain from some types of cancer.

What are 10 disadvantages of nuclear energy? ›

10 Biggest Disadvantages of Nuclear Energy
  • Raw material. Safety measures needed to prevent the harmful levels of radiation from uranium.
  • Fuel Availability. ...
  • High Cost. ...
  • Nuclear Waste. ...
  • Risk of Shutdown Reactors. ...
  • Impact on Human Life. ...
  • Nuclear Power a Non Renewable Resource. ...
  • National Risks.
Mar 6, 2018

Do we have nuclear power plants in the US? ›

The Grand Gulf Nuclear Station in Port Gibson, Mississippi, has the largest U.S. nuclear reactor with an electricity generating capacity of about 1,400 MW. The two smallest operating reactors, each with a net summer generating capacity of about 520 MW, are at the Prairie Island nuclear plant in Red Wing, Minnesota.


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