Blood cells turn cancer killers

June 28, 2001 | Source: New Scientist

Lifesaving drugs might soon be dispatched with pinpoint accuracy to diseased organs by using a patient’s own red blood cells as drug-carrying torpedoes.

The drug is released precisely where it is needed by focusing ultrasound on the diseased tissue to make the blood cells — which have been exposed to a pulsed electric field and infused with the drug — burst open. This should allow potent drugs such as anti-cancer agents to be unleashed at tumour sites while sparing healthy cells elsewhere.