EU Twinning Project in Cancer Therapy Magnetically Destroying the Tumor


"MaNaCa" is about the targeted destruction of cancer cells with magnetic nanoparticles. But at the same time, it is a mentoring program for the Academy of Sciences in Armenia: The project on two levels, in which physicists from the Center for Nanointegration (CENIDE) of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) are significantly involved, is funded by the European Union with 800,000 €.

Twinning is the technical term for the EU's help in further developing technological and scientific expertise in non-European partner countries: A specific discipline or institution of the respective nation is supported by being led by at least two internationally leading European research institutions.

The project "MaNaCa - Magnetic Nanohybrids for Cancer Therapy" aims to improve the scientific potential of the Institute for Physical Research of the National Academy of Sciences in Armenia. Experienced project partners are the UDE, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and a consulting company from Luxembourg.

On the scientific side, for three years MaNaCa will concentrate on the application of magnetic particles in cancer therapy. Two therapeutic variants are in focus: In hyperthermia, the particles are specifically introduced into tumour tissue. Their internal magnetic field is then set into rapid oscillation by an external magnetic field. As a result, they overheat and kill the diseased cells in their environment; healthy tissue remains undamaged. An alternative is magnetic-mechanical cell death. The magnetic nanoparticles are located directly on the membrane of the tumor cell. Even tiny mechanical oscillations on an atomic scale are then sufficient to destroy the cancer cells affected. Both techniques work without surgery.

"Magnetic-based treatments are already real alternatives to radiation and chemotherapy in the laboratory," explains physicist Prof. Michael Farle, one of the UDE scientists involved. "Nevertheless, we want to enable even more targeted therapy by limiting overheating to the individual tumour cell or even to a vulnerable point in its metabolism.

The project has just started and will end in September 2022.


Further information:
Prof. Michael Farle, Experimental Physics, Tel. 0203/37 9-2075, michael.farle@uni-due.de

Editor: Birte Vierjahn, Tel. 0203/37 9-2427,  birte.vierjahn@uni-due.de