By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Could cancer be treated by the flip of a switch?

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According to research in the journal Nature Materials, it might not be that far off.

Researchers are using external magnetic fields to “tell” the body to switch off and switch on processes in the body that lead to cell death.

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I will be extremely technical for a moment.

“…The researchers used zinc-doped iron nano-particles with antibodies attached that target cell-death receptors and promote apoptosis signaling pathways when magnetically activated…”

I quote the actual article because if you understood what I just said you are a far better scientist than me. I also quote the article because I think it provides the level of sophistication and research that goes into the simplistic explanation that a magnetic switch can fight cancer.

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I think it also lets us know how tough it is to fight cancer.