An experimental technique that destroys cancer cells without drugs, surgery or radiation is showing promise in the lab. British company Gendel says that it has used blasts of ultrasound to destroy tumour cells in mice.
Gendel has been quietly refining its procedure for two years – and hopes that if human trials are successful when they start in two years’ time, its technology may lead to a non-invasive cancer therapy for tackling tumours that are hard to treat conventionally, such as those of the head and neck.
The technique relies on the application of an electric field to a tumour to make it susceptible to a follow-up blast of ultrasound. The combination appears to cause tumour cells to self-destruct.