Maddie low-intensity electric fields to treat cancer. Cancer occurs

Maddie Mariani and Amelia MurrayMitotic Spindle Disruption Nature 11 December 2015Tumor Treating Fields, also known as TTF’s, are a type electromagnetic field therapy that uses low-intensity electric fields to treat cancer. Cancer occurs when cells uncontrollably go through the process of mitosis, and TTF’s intend to fix this problem because they are antimitotic. This slows down the rapidly dividing cells to the region of a tumor supposably fixing cancer. Although this seems like a perfect solution to cancer, scientists believe it is disrupting the normal assembly of spindle fibers, serving to equally divide the chromatids between the two offspring cells during cell division. The deviating mitotic events have led to chromosomes separating unevenly, cells with more than one nucleus, and the abnormal process of enzymes speeding up cell death. The effect of TTF’s depend on a cell’s division rate. By prolonging exposure to TTF’s, the slowed process of mitosis intended to treat tumors can be affected similarly to the rapidly dividing cells that cause cancer.Scientists have developed several hypotheses as to why the spindle fibers are being malformed. One hypothesis suggests that the electric fields given off by the TTF’s are not only treating the tumor regions but also surrounding polar properties located within a cell such as organelles and macromolecules. Because mitotic cells are highly polar and have active spindle fibers, allowing for them to be altered by the effects of the TTF’s electric fields. Another hypothesis suggests that TTFs create an abnormal formation of the mitotic spindle, which plays an important role in separating the two daughter cells at the end of mitosis, leading to cell death. The hypotheses provided both support the theory that the TTF prolonging the process of mitosis can lead to cell death. The main concern of the study was to figure out if TTFs lead to the disruption of spindle fibers and what the effects of that might be. As a way to test this, scientists took a cell count after different frequencies of TTFs were applied for different amounts, and calculated the results for different infected organs such as the lung, brain, and pancrea. The cell count after these supported their findings that because TTF treatment depends on the rate of cell division, prolonging the duration of the treatment can improve the treatment effectiveness in cells that are slowly dividing. The next experiment concocted was to see if the spindle fibers are being affected by assessing them post-TTF treatment. Scientists experimented by applying 24 hour TTF treatment at a normal frequency to the infected cells of a lung and breast. They then took pictures of the spindle fiber assembly during metaphase, in which they are supposed to hold the chromosomes in place as they align in the middle. The results proved their assumption to be accurate from the photographs of the cells revealing major structural deformities among the spindle fibers. See pics of control and TTFs   how it relates