derGoldstein writes "Discovery posted an interesting story of how X-rays that are used by astronomers for determining the various chemical abundances inside stars could also potentially be used for more effective radiation therapy: 'Radiation treatment is a coarse instrument at best, since it destroys surrounding healthy cells as well as cancerous tumors. Much research is underway for targeted methods to reduce the collateral damage and attack just the cancer cells, including embedding nanoparticles inside tumors ... Nahar and Pradham envision a prototype device capable of generating x-rays (gzipped PDF) at the key frequencies to trigger a flood of low-energy electrons in platinum and gold, based on their computer simulations. Gold or platinum nanoparticles would amass naturally in cancerous tumors in the body, and could then be zapped with the focused x-ray beam.'"
I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when
you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
-- Poul Anderson