Hibernation touted as cancer treatment

Cancer could be tackled more effectively by putting patients into a torpor state similar to that of a hibernating bear, a scientist claims.

Tumour growth would slow right down or cease while healthy cells in the body become more resistant to radiation, says physicist Professor Marco Durante, from the Trento Institute in Italy.

As a result, larger doses of cancer-killing radiotherapy could be administered in safety.

The radical idea follows years of research on hibernating animals, and anecdotal reports of people who have been plunged into a deep freeze and survived.

During hibernation, a form of cold temperature deep sleep,