Scientists Accidentally Discover Immune Cells That Identify and Destroy Almost All Types of Cancers
4A one size fits all cancer therapy
The scientists say that the new tumour killing cell will one day serve as the basis to formulate a “one size fits all” cancer treatment that till today everyone thought impossible. More research is obviously needed because the study involved cancer cells that was grown in a lab. The cancer killer will be first tested in animals and if that is successful, then human trials will also begin to truly test its cancer destroying abilities.
5Scientists have been trying hard to make immunotherapy work
Immunotherapy is not a new concept; doctors have been trying for many years to formulate treatment by extracting immune cells from a patient by a process called CAR-T therapy. They have been tying to modify the immune cells to enhance their cancer-killing properties. This form of therapy modifies the T cells from immune cells and then returns them back to blood where they are expected to hunt down the cancer cells and destroy them.
6Present treatments have limitations
However, the treatment is limited and does not target all cancers including bone marrow and blood cancer. It has also not seen much success in solid tumors. The majority of cancers are made up of solid tumors making them very difficult to treat. The problem is T cells cannot differentiate between healthy cells and tumor cells because they both share a similar genetic makeup and instead both get attacked. This is where the new discovery makes such a big difference in distinguishing between cancer cells and healthy cells where only the cancer is killed. This is now under research to find out how exactly this is possible.
710 cancers were destroyed
In the latest study involving these new cells, no less than 10 cancers were destroyed while the cell type ignored healthy tissue. The experiment took place in a lab dish. The cancers that were eliminated were cervical cancer, prostate, ovarian, blood, colon, bone, lung, kidney and skin cancer. The lead author Professor Andrew Sewell of Cardiff University’s school of medicine said it was ‘highly unusual’ to find an attack cell which could accurately target so many types of cancer but still not healthy cells. ‘We hope this new TCR may provide us with a different route to target and destroy a wide range of cancers in all individuals,’ he said. The professor expressed hope that this will now open up prospects for universal cancer therapy.