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November 11th, 2007

Nobles and Knaves

In 2002, Mr. Kanzius was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. A year later, after six months of chemotherapy and a stretch of time in remission, he was told that he had only nine months to live, as the cancer had never left. Mr. Kanzius was moved by his struggle with chemotherapy and by the sight of so many others whose bodies were devastated by cancer and its treatment. So, one night in 2003, he began to tinker.

Mr. Kanzius knew that metal would heat up when exposed to radio waves. He wanted to find a way to expose cancer cells to these radio waves to destroy the cancer but avoid the healthy surrounding cells. Radio-frequency ablation is a similar process already used, but the method is limited because needles must be inserted into the tumors. Mr. Kanzius' next step was to find a particle that would attach to cancer cells, avoid healthy cells and still be destroyed when exposed to radio waves. Enter the nanoparticle. Sure enough, they burn.


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