Years ago, well decades ago now if I’m honest, I remember reading ‘Fantastic Voyage‘ a science fiction story about a submarine and its crew being miniaturised before being injected into the bloodstream in order that the crew could work some cure from inside the VIPs body. Well, so far as I know that is still very much science fiction, but, when I read this article about exploding micro-capsules being injected into a cancer patient’s bloodstream, locating the cancer mass and then exploding, I was put in mind of The Fantastic Journey. Doesn’t it just sound absolutely wonderful? Imagine, no need for chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy! No attack on the entire body! No damage to the perfectly healthy organs of the body and no need to accept damage to their functions as collateral!
I don’t know just how close we are to having our amazing medical researchers produce something like this but hopefully the work of Professor Zhang and his team is bringing this much, much closer. In essence the process seems to be wonderfully simple. Put the drugs into a micro-capsule, put the micro-capsule into the patient’s bloodstream, either sensitise the casing of the capsule to some trace of the cancer or inject an identifiable chemical into the mass so that, when the micro-capsule gets to the cancerous mass, the micro-capsule’s shell ruptures or disintegrates thereby releasing the payload directly onto the cancer mass which in turn explodes and dies. You have to admit that, as an idea, it really is amazingly simple. As a piece of engineering I can only imagine it is amazingly difficult, but I wish them well and hope that their efforts will pay dividends for those cancer sufferers who follow in our footsteps.