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Scientists Successfully Shrunk a Deadly Tumor with a Magnetic Helmet

A man wearing a helmet with magnets attached to it.
Houston Methodist Neurological Institute

Usually, magnetic “health devices” are total garbage that you shouldn’t waste money on. But scientists turned that general rule of thumb on its head with a magnetic helmet that significantly shrunk a deadly brain tumor without any invasive surgery. All from the comfort of the patient’s home.

The study in question started with a patient servicing from a Glioblastoma, the deadliest of brain cancers. The patient already went through typical and extreme treatments, including radical surgical excision, chemoradiotherapy, and experimental gene therapy, and unfortunately, those weren’t successful in treating the condition.

Through an FDA-approved process known as compassionate use treatment, researchers attempted a new method of treatment using oscillating magnetic fields. The patient wore a helmet with rotating permanent magnets attached, with generated the oscillating magnetic fields in specific frequency profiles and timing patterns.

At first, the patient wore the helmet for two hours under supervision before moving back home and wearing it for up to six hours with help from the patient’s wife. Unfortunately, the patient died due to an unrelated injury. But that did let scientists get a close look at the results.

The family generously allowed researchers to perform an autopsy to see firsthand how well the treatment worked. And as it turns out, the tumor shrunk by 31%. Considering that result came without surgery or chemotherapy, future applications are something worth pursuing.

But as with most medical breakthroughs, more tests are needed along with repeat results. Still, if scientists can replicate the results, it could lead to a new and less invasive treatment for some of the worst cancers.

via Engadget

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson is the Editor in Chief of Review Geek and is responsible for the site's content direction. He has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smart home enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »