“A major achievement.” The development of a device that targets the most deadly form of brain cancer “A major achievement.” The development of a device that targets the most deadly form of brain cancer

“A major achievement.” The development of a device that targets the most deadly form of brain cancer

“A major achievement.” The development of a device that targets the most deadly form of brain cancer

Scientists have developed new technology that helps study cancer cells before, during and after treatment, which could lead to new ways to target tumors.
The study explained that the techniques used to study single cells usually destroy them, but "nanotechnology" allows scientists to extract small samples from a living cell without killing it.

The research team revealed a modern device that uses nanoneedles to inject or extract a sample from a living cell, in a major achievement within cancer research.

The device contains two small needles that can inject and extract a sample from one cell at a time.

Scientists used the device to study glioblastoma (GBM) cells, the most deadly form of brain cancer, over a period of 72 hours.

GBM cells are particularly 'resilient' and can adapt quickly, helping them develop resistance to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, the device found that the cells became more stable and less flexible immediately after treatment, indicating that they may enter a period of stability before returning to flexibility, and therefore there may be an opportunity to find ways to kill them.

The device also allows the identification and sampling of cells that are not killed by chemotherapy, and which lead to the cancer growing again.

Dr Lucy Stead, associate professor of brain cancer biology at the University of Leeds, where the device was developed, said: “This is a major achievement. It is the first time we have technology that enables us to monitor changes that occur after treatment, rather than just assuming them.”

She added: "It is very important that we can monitor and characterize these cells dynamically as they change, so that we can map the journey they can take, and then find ways to stop them."

The results were published in the journal Science Advances.

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