Film, Video Cancer, Magnets & Heat

Transcript: TEXT

About this Item


  • Cancer, Magnets & Heat


  • Nanotechnology is a frontier in science, engineering, and manufacturing that offers new potential for medical diagnosis and therapy. Our understanding of materials at the atomic level has advanced tremendously in recent years, prompting research to produce virus-sized platforms that promise to revolutionize medical imaging, drug delivery, and therapy. The anti-cancer benefits of heat therapy have been recognized for over 2,000 years. Heat is a potent agent that makes other therapies, such as radio- and chemo-therapies, more effective; but, heat does not discriminate for cancer and therefore must be delivered directly to the cancer cells. Magnetic nanoparticles, magnetized beads about the size of a virus or antibody, create heat when they are exposed to alternating magnetic fields. These nanoparticles can be used to target cancer cells directly, where they can be remotely activated for therapeutic heating or drug delivery. They can also be used as a diagnostic marker for cells or tumors because their magnetic properties make them excellent magnetic resonance imaging agents. Combined with their small size (about 1,000,000 times smaller than a cancer cell) and their responsiveness to magnetic fields, magnetic nanoparticles can be used to mark individual cells to track a cell's migration, diagnose cancer, and deliver controlled therapy.

Event Date

  • March 06, 2014


  • -  Robert Ivkov is a visiting assistant professor in radiation oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Running Time

  • 1 hours 5 minutes 52 seconds

Online Format

  • video
  • image
  • online text

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Credit Line: Library of Congress

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Cancer, Magnets & Heat. 2014. Video.

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(2014) Cancer, Magnets & Heat. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

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