Cancer Cells Reformed: Made To Kill Each Other

Categories: Health & Nutrition

The news gets better: these reformed bad boys possessed a peculiar penchant for targeting and eliminating other nearby leukemia cells- its former family. In just 24 hours, these guys managed to eliminate 15% of the surrounding leukemic cells.

Unfortunately, these cells are a sort of a targeted weapon; they only choose to destroy leukemic cancer cells related to themselves- breast cancer cells were ignored when placed together with the Natural Killers. It is unknown why this is so (Perhaps the cells knew the personal details of their former friends?), but the scientists believe that yet other antibodies could trigger the conversion of other cancerous cells into murderous double agents.

Researchers have named this sort of therapy after the fratricidal nature of the Natural Killer cells, “fratricidins.” They believe that this treatment would have several advantages over conventional treatments, one being that the targeted nature of the Natural Killer cells would allow only cancerous cells to be executed with extreme prejudice- civilian, I mean healthy cells will not become collateral damage.

The second advantage is that every cancer cell could be turned into a healthy cell, completely eradicating the cancerous population- something which even chemotherapy cannot guarantee, as anyone who has a loved one faced with remission understands.

“It’s a totally new approach to cancer, and we’re working to test it in human patients as soon as possible,” Richard A. Lerner, institute professor and the Lita Annenberg Hazen professor of Immunochemistry at TSRI and senior investigator (pictured at the top), said. “We’re in discussions with pharmaceutical companies to take this straight into humans after the appropriate preclinical toxicity studies.” 

Sources: Medical Daily, PNAS, The San Diego Union Tribune, / via Anon

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