Scientists claim immune discovery may treat all cancer
Kathmandu, January 21
Scientists claimed that a newly-discovered part of our immune system could be harnessed to treat all cancers.
As per the BBC, the Cardiff University team, who published their finding in the Nature Immunology, discovered a method of killing prostate, breast, lung and other cancers in lab tests.
Although, the findings have not been tested in the patients but the researchers claimed that they have "enormous potential".
Our immune system is our body's natural defence against infection, but it also attacks cancerous cells and the scientists were looking for "unconventional" and previously undiscovered ways the immune system naturally attacks tumours.
According to the scientists, they found a T-cell inside people's blood. This is an immune cell that can scan the body to assess whether there is a threat that 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," said researcher Prof Andrew Sewell quoted as saying by the BBC.
T-cells have "receptors" on their surface that allow them to "see" at a chemical level.
According to the BBC, 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.
This particular T-cell receptor interacts with a molecule called MR1, which is on the surface of every cell in the human body. It is thought MR1 is flagging the distorted metabolism going on inside a cancerous cell to the immune system.
"We are the first to describe a T-cell that finds MR1 in cancer cells - that hasn't been done before, this is the first of its kind," told research fellow Garry Dolton as quoted saying by the BBC.