An accidental finding that may potentially cure most forms of cancer! In a big development in the field of medicine, a team of scientists from Cardiff University in Wales, UK, have discovered a part of human immune system that could potentially be harnessed to kill cancer cells. The “accidental” discovery occurred when researchers, in their pursuit of unconventional ways to treat cancer, were analysing blood samples from a blood bank in Wales and came upon a T-cell in human blood that scans the entire body to identify cancerous cells and eliminates them.
The researchers from Cardiff University told the BBC that this could potentially lead to possibilities where all forms of cancer — be it prostate, breast, lung, or other forms — could be treated. A singular treatment for all forms of cancerous tumours was previously an unimaginable thing, the researchers said, while pointing out the significance of the discovery, BBC reported.
The immune system that protects our body from infections also has a tendency to attack cancerous cells. Significantly, the researchers discovered that this T-cell only targets cancerous cells and leaves healthy cells untouched. It achieves this with the help of a unique receptor, that functions as a grappling hook, to latch onto all forms of cancerous cells while ignoring healthy cells.
The test when conducted upon mice with leukemia showed that the cancer regressed and the mice lived longer, a report in ScienceAlert.com stated. When tested on human cells the T-cells killed a number of cancerous cells that were tested, ranging from ovarian, leukemia, colon, bone, lung, melanoma, breast to prostate cancer. Though these tests have only been conducted on cancerous cells in mice and human cells so far, and not yet on any human patient, these findings are significant as they raise hopes for millions of cancer patients worldwide.-Financial Express