Skip to main content

AC/DC classic improves cancer drug effect

brian johnson and angus young of ac/dc
Brian Johnson and Angus Young in action with AC\/DC (Image credit: Getty)

AC/DC classic Thunderstruck is being used by scientists to improve the effect of a cancer-fighting drug, they’ve reported.

The 1990 song, from The Razor’s Edge, is being used to force medicine particles to bounce, so they can be coated with a plasma shell that helps them last longer in the human system, and therefore do more good.

Before discovering the technique, only one side of each particle could be coated, and so the camphothecin drug was broken down faster.

Confirming the contents of a paper published in February, the University of South Australia’s Professor Nico Voelcker tells In-Pharma: “Normally, you only form the coating on one side of the particle, the side that is exposed.

“But the other side is not going to get coated. That’s where we came up with the idea of using a loudspeaker that would play into the system.

“It would vibrate and the particles would bounce up and down. The chaotic frequencies worked well, and give you a more homogenous coating.”

In the report, Voelcker’s team say: “Teflon-like coatings were achieved by tumbling the particles by playing AC/DC’s song Thunderstruck. The overcoating resulted in a markedly slower release of the drug, and this effect correlated positively with the plasma polymer coating times, ranging from 2-fold up to more than 100-fold.”

Voelcker argues that the process could have applications in many other drug preparations, adding: “We have done some work with cells and now we’ll move on to the next stage of research.”

In 2011, an Australian marine tour operator discovered that sharks behaved more calmly if they were played AC/DC tracks You Shook Me All Night Long and Back In Black through underwater speakers.

The future of the Aussie giants remains in doubt, with rumours suggesting Axl Rose will replace Brian Johnson for the postponed final dates of their Rock Or Bust world tour.

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band (opens in new tab), a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories (opens in new tab) about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.