by Bennett Davis
Every kind of cancer is different and each different kind can have a variety of expressions, depending on the individual who has it.
That means every kind of cancer demands a different approach to treatment.
Now scientists at Cardiff University have found a way to disrupt a key component shared by a wide variety of cancers.
Without harming healthy tissue, this new process has been able to kill blood, bone, breast, cervical, colon, kidney, lung, ovarian, prostate, and skin cancer cells.
This has been thought impossible until now.
The new technique is a form of T-cell therapy, in which T-cells from a patient’s immune system are collected and re-engineered in a lab to attack cancer cells, then injected back into the patient’s body. The new T-cells zero in on the body’s “human leukocyte antigen system,” or HLA, through which they lock onto cancer cells and start to kill them.
But sometimes they don’t. T-cell therapy can fail as much as half the time and scientists aren’t always sure why. The HLA is unique to each person and T-cell treatment has been likened to lock-picking, which depends on wiggling the right tool into the right slot in the right way.
The Cardiff researchers used a different T-cell that skips the HLA and locks onto a different protein network on cancer cell surfaces, called MR1.
The advantage: unlike the HLA, the MR1 system doesn’t vary between persons. It’s identical in every one of us, which means that it’s an identical component in every kind of cancer.
The Cardiff treatment bypasses cancer’s usual defenses and attacks cancer’s Achille’s heel – a key element present in the same way in every version of the disease.
TRENDPOST: Animal, and then human, trials are being planned. The developers are likely to ask for fast-track approval for the new treatment if the trials show positive results.
RESEARCHERS FIND CANCER’S ACHILLES’ HEEL
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by Bennett Davis