In a first,
researchers from University of Granada, Spain, have successfully created
magnetic bacteria that could be added to foodstuff, which after ingestion would
help diagnose digestive tract diseases such as stomach cancer. It is an
important finding because here the artificial magnetic bacteria turn the food
into a natural drug to screen and even destroy stomach cancer and other gastrointestinal
The researchers, from
the Department of Inorganic Chemistry and the Institute of Biotechnology, in
collaboration with BIOSEARCH SA, who patented the technology, got the idea from
a natural bacteria
magnetotactic bacteria. These species produce internal magnets which act like
an internal compass that help them to orient themselves. Through this alignment
the bacteria reach the regions of optimal oxygen concentration.
The research is still
in the experimental stage, but the researchers believe these probiotic magnetic
bacteria can be used -
In MRI (Magnetic
) to facilitate diagnosis of the disease
In heating cancer cells through magnetic hypothermia to treat the disease
As an edible iron
is the fifth most common cancer in the world with about one million new cases
being reported every year globally. Stomach cancer is of many types, the most
common being adenocarcinoma or the cancer of the inner lining of the stomach
that contains glands secreting mucus and gastric juices.
wall has five layers and the innermost layer is called the mucosa. This is
where most stomach cancers start. The stage of the cancer is actually
determined by the spread of the cancer from the mucosa to the other layers of
usually develop slowly over many years and you may not experience any symptoms
in the early stages. Over time the cancer spreads to the nearby organs. It may
also spread to the lymph vessels and lymph nodes. As the cancer advances,
it can spread to the blood, bones and other parts of the body. So, what causes
stomach cancer? Causes of Stomach Cancer
Researchers are still
trying to find the causes of stomach cancer. But the following are now the
accepted causes of stomach cancer -
infection: H. pylori is a spiral bacterium that grows in the
inner mucus lining of the stomach. This bacterium interferes with the activity
of the immune cells of our body, making them ineffective in eliminating the
bacteria. This causes an autoimmune reaction in which the lining of the stomach
is attacked by the immune cells of the body resulting in cancer. Although H.
pylori does not always cause cancer, the International Agency for Research on
Cancer has classified it as a carcinogen (cancer causing agent) because it has
been found to be an important cause of stomach cancer and gastric lymphoma.
Epstein-Barr virus has also been linked to stomach cancer in a number of
studies. Researchers have found that almost 10 percent of stomach cancers
develop because of this virus
Diet plays a major role in the development of stomach cancer. Studies have
shown that pickled food, spicy food, excess consumption of chilly, dried salted
fish, and soda can cause gastric cancer. Similarly, excess salt intake is also
a risk factor because salt can damage the stomach mucosa (inner lining).
and tobacco chewing, both, increase the risk of stomach
cancer. Treatment of Stomach Cancer
Treatment of stomach
cancer depends on the type of cancer and the stage of the cancer.
Since early stages of
cancer are limited to the inner lining of the stomach, it is treated by surgery
alone. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy is not required.
Later stages of the
cancer require surgery as well as chemo or radiotherapy since the other linings
of the stomach are also involved. Chemotherapy
with or without
radiation is given before the surgery to shrink the cancer and make it easier
for the surgeons to remove it.
Advanced stages of
stomach cancer may require removal of part or all of the stomach along with nearby lymph nodes if necessary. Sometimes chemotherapy or chemoradiation is
given after the surgery, but only if the patient can tolerate it.
Cure for stage IV
stomach cancer is usually not possible. But treatment helps to relieve
symptoms. Combinations of chemo drugs or targeted therapy is used in some
India has a high prevalence of H. pylori, so the
threat of stomach cancer is high. Similarly, faulty diet and high use of
tobacco add to the burden. In view of this, medical community in India feel the
need for suitable screening tests for stomach cancer. This study, thus, may
prove to be very useful in diagnosing and treating the cancer.