A cancer cure might finally have been found. Researchers may have created a miracle drug that is killing every type of cancer tumor it has come in contact with thus far. Blocking a protein known as CD47 has essentially created a “Do Not Eat” order to the immune system and spurring the production of healthy blood cells.
Stanford University researchers have found that cancer cells create an “inordinate” amount of protein and basically trick the immune system into not killing the harmful cells. Armed with this data, the scientists working on a cure for cancer crated an antibody that blocks the CD47 protein, and therefore protects the body’s immune system from the deadly cells.
The cancer researchers have tested the protein antibody on mice with human colon, ovary, breast, bladder, prostate, and liver tumors. In each of the tests on human tumors implanted into mice, the protein antibody has prompted the immune system in the mice to kill the cancer cells.
Stanford University biologist Irving Weissman said, “We showed that even after the tumor has taken hold, the antibody can either cure the tumor or slow its growth and prevent metastasis.”
The one known side effect of the treatment recorded so far involves short-term attacks on the mice’s immune system. But, the scientists note that the side effect was noting in comparison to the damage already being done by the cancer cells.
The cancer cure researchers recently received a $20 million grant to transition their testing and research from mice to humans.
British researchers also appear to be making great strides in the fight against prostate cancer. Hospitals are currently testing a “personalized” type of radiotherapy which “erases” the disease extremely quickly and significantly enhances the chance for survival. If all goes well, the treatment could become available in the next two years.
Prostate cancer is the most common disease in men and reportedly kills 11,000 males in Britain each year. Approximately 40,000 British men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Typical radiation treatments deliver an equal amount of radiation to the entire prostrate. The new “dose painting radiotherapy” treatment allows doctors to utilize body scans to identify sections of the prostate with cancer nodules and zap just the unhealthy portion of the gland.
During ongoing clinical trials, patients receive 20 rounds of the personalized radiation therapy treatments. Patients undergoing traditional treatments for prostate cancer are routinely subjected to 37 rounds of radiation.
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