Missile detection technology may provide the future treatment of choice for breast cancer. Alan J. Fenn of MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory developed the system as a phased-array radar antenna to foil enemy jamming. Searching for other applications when military funding dried up, Fenn stumbled onto the possibility of using his creation’s precisely controlled emissions of microwave energy to treat cancer. Earlier attempts to use microwaves to kill cancer cells failed because of the difficulty in focusing the energy to destroy deep-seated tumors without burning surrounding tissue. Fenn’s anti-jamming algorithm precisely shapes the microwave beam to do just that. After giving patients a local anesthetic, doctors insert two needle probes into the tumor to measure temperature and microwave energy levels. They then heat the tumor to about 45 C for 20 minutes. Patients can go home with a couple of Band-Aids.
In early trials, a single microwave treatment shrunk tumors by half within 10 days-a result that requires months of chemotherapy or radiation. Celsion, of Columbia, Md., has licensed the technology and hopes to adapt it to treat tumors in the prostate, lung, liver and pancreas as well.
Forget dating apps: Here’s how the net’s newest matchmakers help you find love
Fed up with apps, people looking for romance are finding inspiration on Twitter, TikTok—and even email newsletters.
How AI could solve supply chain shortages and save Christmas
Just-in-time shipping is dead. Long live supply chains stress-tested with AI digital twins.
These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems
They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.
How AI is reinventing what computers are
Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.