New research into the immune system has discovered a potential cancer-killing treatment, according to BBC. The findings, released in Nature Immunology, are believed to have “enormous potential.” While not yet been tested, the research is promising for those suffering from the devastating disease.
The scientific study by members of Cardiff University indicates that the new treatment could potentially kill lung, skin, blood, colon, breast, bone, prostate, ovarian, kidney and cervical cancer cells. While in early development, the researchers hope to eventually be able to use this treatment on all forms of cancer.
“There’s a chance here to treat every patient,” said researcher Professor Andrew Sewell.
“Previously nobody believed this could be possible. It raises the prospect of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ cancer treatment, a single type of T-cell that could be capable of destroying many different types of cancers across the population.”
The findings came about after researchers went looking for unconventional ways in which to attack cancer cells within the body. Looking at the immune system, researchers discovered a T-cell within the blood that assesses threats to the body. Currently, the findings indicate that this receptor kills various cancer cells while leaving normal cells alone. Treatments developed from this research would likely see blood samples genetically modified in order to effectively treat cancer.
It also found that this T-cell interacts with a molecule called MR1. It is believed that the MR1 molecule is “flagging the distorted metabolism” and killing cancer cells as a result.
“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,” research fellow, Garry Dolton, also told the BBC.
While this is exciting news, other researchers are suggesting that people should wait for further research regarding the latest discovery. Lucia Mori and Gennaro De Libero, from the University of Basel in Switzerland, said the research had “great potential” but it was still early on in the research to indicate as to whether or not this treatment could be used on all cancers.
Daniel Davis, who is a professor of immunology at the University of Manchester, also pointed out that it was an “exciting discovery” regarding the research but that actual potential medicines developed as a result of the research were still likely a long way off.
However, it is certainly an exciting development and one to be watched closely in the future.
There is currently a wide range of research regarding cancer treatments. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, researchers at Harvard University have recently found a chemical in the cannabis plant has shown the potential to be effective against pancreatic cancer.