New breakthrough discovery in immune system could treat all types of cancer
New Delhi : A newly-discovered part of our immune system can be used to save and cure you from all types of cancers, say scientists.
A team of Cardiff University scientists discovered have discovered a method to kill prostate, breast, lung and other cancers in lab tests.
The findings from their study have been published in Nature Immunology. However, the procedure is yet to be tested on a patient, the scientists are positive and have a strong belief that this will turn in their favour.
Progress till date
Human body has its natural defence to the diseases, commonly known as immune system. The scientists were looking for "unconventional" and previously undiscovered ways the immune system naturally attacks tumours.
During the research, they found that T-cell inside human blood that keeps a check on the body to locate which part of the body has a threat to the disease and needs to be eliminated.
The difference is this one could attack a wide range of cancers.
"There's a chance here to treat every patient," researcher Prof Andrew Sewell told the BBC.
He added: "Previously nobody believed this could be possible.
"It raises the prospect of a 'one-size-fits-all' cancer treatment, a single type of T-cell that could be capable of destroying many different types of cancers across the population."
How does T-Cell work?
T-cells have "receptors" on their surface that allow them to "see" at a chemical level.
The Cardiff team discovered a T-cell and its receptor that could find and kill a wide range of cancerous cells in the lab including lung, skin, blood, colon, breast, bone, prostate, ovarian, kidney and cervical cancer cells.
Crucially, it left normal tissues untouched.
How would the treatment be done?
According to the scientists, a blood sample would be taken from the patient to locate T Cells then they will be genetically modified and placed back in the blood and then into the human body.
The new modified T cells will no locate the cancer-causing threats and would eliminate them automatically without causing any damage to other parts of our body.
Expert Researchers Reaction to the study
Lucia Mori and Gennaro De Libero, from the University of Basel in Switzerland, said the research had "great potential" but was at too early a stage to say it would work in all cancers.
"We are very excited about the immunological functions of this new T-cell population and the potential use of their TCRs in tumour cell therapy," they said.
Daniel Davis, a professor of immunology at the University of Manchester, said: "At the moment, this is very basic research and not close to actual medicines for patients.
"There is no question that it's a very exciting discovery, both for advancing our basic knowledge about the immune system and for the possibility of future new medicines."