US Pharm. 2014;38(3):HS-16.

Using tiny particles designed to target cancer-fighting immune cells, Johns Hopkins researchers have trained the immune systems of mice to fight melanoma, a deadly skin cancer. Described on the website of ACS Nano, the research represents a significant step toward using nanoparticles to treat a variety of conditions, the scientists say.

“Size was key to this experiment,” says Jonathan Schneck, MD, PhD, a professor of pathology, medicine, and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Institute for Cell Engineering. “We have a bevy of new questions to work on now: What’s the optimal magnetic ‘dose’? Could we use magnetic fields to activate T cells without taking them out of the body? And could magnets be used to target an immune response to a particular part of the body, such as a tumor’s location?” Dr. Schneck adds.