Scientists in the UK may be on the brink of finding a treatment for cancer using immune cells from the patient’s body as per a report published in ‘Nature Immunology’ by a team from Cardiff University.
As per the report, the treatment could potentially kill blood, colon, bone, ovarian, kidney, cervical, breast, prostate, lung cancer cells along with other forms of cancer cells.
This comes after the team discovered a ‘new part to our immune system that could be harnessed to treat all cancers’ when they were, as reported by the BBC, ‘looking for unconventional’ and ‘previously undiscovered ways the immune system attacked these tumours’.
The breakthrough came after they found T-cells inside human blood that can, when engineered, scan the body to assess whether there are any threats, and whether they need to be eliminated.
These T-Cells work with receptors on their surface that allow them to ‘see’ at a chemical level, the team reports.
More importantly, these cells leave the healthy cells unharmed. The receptor was also seen acting like a ‘grappling hook latching onto most human cancers, while ignoring healthy cells,’ the Telegraph reported.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC, researcher Prof. Andrew Sewell from Cardiff University, was quoted as saying: “The difference is this one could attack a wide range of cancers. There’s a chance here to treat every patient.
“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,” he added.
Despite the breakthrough, it must be noted that a universal treatment is far from ready to be converted into actual medicines and treatment for people.
For a more in-depth analysis of the report, click here.