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Magnet used in prostate cancer battle

MICROSCOPIC magnets are now being used in the battle against prostate cancer.

In laboratory tests, magnetic nanoparticles were used to steer therapeutic white blood cells into the hearts of tumours.

The macrophage blood cells were "armed" with a virus which began to replicate after reaching the cancer target.

Once infected, the cancer cells were destroyed. At the same time the multiplying virus spread to attack neighbouring prostate cancer cells.

In tests conducted in England the cells were pulled deep into tumour "spheroids" using an external magnetic force.

Plans are now under way to test the treatment on mice.