By Joshua Hawkins

Researchers have managed to create a cancer-killing patch that turns light into heat and “cooks” cancer cells until they die. The patch, which researchers first detailed in a paper published in Advanced Functional Materials, can heat up melanoma cells and kill them. It’s a treatment that kills the cancerous cells but leaves the other cells around it unharmed.

Finding new ways to treat cancer effectively has been at the top of scientists’ and medical professionals’ goals for the past decade. And we’ve come up with some very innovative ways to treat cancer. From this cancer-killing patch to cancer-killing viruses, and even a radioactive gel that can kill cancerous cells all offer great ways to fight these deadly diseases.

The treatment relies heavily on a procedure called surgical resection. This is a common treatment for skin melanoma, but it can also lead to postoperative recurrence. That then calls for even more surgery, as well as possibly chemotherapy. With a cancer-killing patch, though, the doctors could focus the treatment more directly on the cancerous cells.

Scientists have been looking at more direct treatment options for cancer. One of the biggest problems with chemotherapy is that it isn’t always effective. Additionally, the components in the treatment also wreak havoc in the patient’s body. This is why treatment options like this cancer-killing patch offer so much promise.

This patch could provide a lot of room for skin cancer patients to receive treatments. The treatment itself only requires the patient to be exposed to near-infrared light for 15 seconds every 48 hours for the cancer-killing patch to be effective and fight the cancerous cells. This makes it more convenient than current surgical or chemotherapy treatments.

Removing melanoma cells surgically leads to additional wounds, which delays healing overall. With a cancer-killing patch, we remove the need to delay healing any more than needed. Further, these kinds of patches could even be delivered to your home, making cancer treatment more convenient and affordable.