Scientists are taking the fight with cancer up a notch. This time, they're going to be using lasers and nanoparticles.

New techniques from the researchers at the University of Georgia almost seem futuristic. In an experiment, the researchers sent an army of nanoparticles into a petri dish full of breast cancer cells. The nanoparticles invaded the cells and targeted the mitochondria - where they get their energy and wait. They then later blasted the nanoparticles with a laser that can penetrate tissue, activating them and choking the cancer cells of their energy source.

When the cancer cells die, the body's immune system takes the trash out. The cancer cells attract dendritic cells, and they signal for the rest of the immune system to attack.

Shanta Dhar, co-author of a paper on the new treatment, explains, "Dendritic cells recognized the cancer as something foreign and began to produce high levels of interferon-gamma, which alerts the rest of the immune system to a foreign presence and signals it to attack. We basically used the cancer against itself."

While nanoparticles have been used to do the cancer beating duties before, the introduction of lasers is new in this technique.

We're assuming it is not set to stun. Good stuff, science! [PhysOrg]