Scientists may have found a way to beat cancer for good. A groundbreaking treatment for the disease makes use of healthy cells that could strengthen a patient’s immune system without toxic side effects. Amazingly, the immune cells can come from any healthy donors ranging from a loved one to a complete stranger.
The new treatment is being developed by a team at the Francis Crick Institute in London. Although it is currently in its early days, the scientists claim that immune cells can be used to combat cancer cells. The healthy cells can be introduced to a patient’s body to help strengthen their immune system. If the treatment continues to be successful, it could completely replace chemotherapy – which has toxic side effects.
The groundbreaking treatment aims to strengthen a patient’s immunity to fight cancer.
Professor Adrian Hayday is the group leader of the Immunosurveillance Lab at the Francis Crick Institute. Hayday believes that the treatment would lead to “immune banks” where ‘Natural Killer’ cells can be stored. The immune banks will be easily accessible to oncologists when they need healthy cells to treat a patient.
“We’re not quite there yet but that’s what we’re trying now. There is every capability of getting cell banks like this established,” Hayday said.
Anyone who is healthy can be a donor to the immune banks.
Professor Charlie Swanton of Crick’s Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability Laboratory is understandably optimistic about the groundbreaking treatment.
“Using the body’s own immune cells to target the tumor is elegant because tumors evolve so quickly there is no way a pharmaceutical company can keep up with it. But the immune system has been evolving for over four billion years to do just that,” he said.
The Crick team has confirmed that anyone can donate their healthy cells to the immune banks. They also revealed that the cells are not being rejected by the body unlike originally thought. Although it may still take some time, the groundbreaking treatment can potentially help patients get stronger immune systems to combat cancer for good.
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