The medicine for cancer is the ultimate goal to which every scientist aspires. The scientists were trying to find the right treatment, as we began to understand what cancer really is. One of the main goals of each cancer treatment is to prevent the growth of cancer cells, but these methods of treatment usually harm healthy cells.
One ideal treatment is one that turns cancer cells into healthy ones, but it sounds too good to be true.
Although this has not yet been found, treatment of leukemia and other cancers can be improved on the horizon.
Cancer is a Timeless Enemy
Unfortunately, in the XXI century there was a rapid increase in cancer statistics. According to the National Cancer Institute, almost 590,000 people are likely to die from cancer, and a new 1.6 cases will be diagnosed.
In a normal functioning and healthy body, cells are divided and replaced by those that have died.
In the case of cancer, cells begin to randomly divide, and they spread into surrounding tissues. Over time, they begin to behave abnormally, the old cells do not die, and the new ones continue to share.
These unbound cells can turn into cancerous tumors. However, not all cancerous tumors are manifested through tumors. One such example is blood cancer or leukemia.
Among other treatments, radiation and chemotherapy have proven to be really effective. However, they can cause many serious side effects. As we mentioned earlier, they prevent the growth of malignant cells, but they also damage the surrounding healthy cells.
However, there may be a way of converting cancer cells into antibodies that will further reduce the number of malignant cells.
In 2015, scientists from the Scripps Research Institute conducted a revolutionary study that gives hope for cancer treatment.
The scientific team worked on certain types of treatment for diseases of cells and blood, when they noticed unusual effects of antibodies on bone marrow cells. For this reason, they subjected the bone marrow cells to antibodies, hoping that they will stimulate the growth of new blood cells.
The results were positive, the antibodies completed their task. This discovery led the study in a completely new direction.
Surprisingly, antibodies have an unusual effect on bone marrow cells. These cells matured in completely new forms of cells, different from those expected.
That’s the question! Can this method transform malignant cells into healthy cells?
Scientists have decided to start a new study, which includes 20 activating antibodies in acute leukemia, taken from patients. It turned out that the antibodies had an incredible effect on leukemia cells.
When they are exposed to leukemia cells, these antibodies mature and turn into vital cells called dendritic cells.
Despite the success in itself, the researchers have advanced even further. They found that the longer antibodies were detected, the more mature the dendritic cells. The result was a group of cells that very much resemble NK cells (a natural killer). These cells are responsible for attacking dangerous pathogens and tumors.
Treatment of leukemia on the horizon?
Compared to other cancer treatments, this pioneering discovery is critical to the management of leukemia, because both leukemia and this medication work the same way inside the body.
This treatment is maintained because of the rapid increase in some cells, central to leukemia-cancerous stem cells. These cells have the ability to retain when multiplied by thousands of cancer cells. Although the cells resulting from this proliferation can not produce other cells, they are potent and abundant.
Modern methods of treating leukemia, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation, can not identify and destroy all cancer stem cells.
These cancer stem cells are strong enough to withstand these therapies. These cells, which do not completely break down, again multiply and cause relapse of leukemia. That is why the survival rate for leukemia rarely takes less than 5 years.
The ability of antibodies to recognize cancer stem cells in combination with radiation therapy, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation can create highly effective leukemia treatment. Thus, survival will increase, and this can turn into widely accepted treatment.
Scientists have found another amazing discovery. Transformed NK cells were able to remove 15% of other leukemia cells in just 24 hours without any damage to surrounding cells.
This indicates that NK cells attack cells of a kind.
The scientist points out some advantages of this treatment:
- This treatment is based only on antibodies, and their use is a very simple process.
- This is a high-focus treatment, because NK cells attack cells of a kind. However, this reduces the risk of serious side effects, which are the result of radiation and chemotherapy.
- This treatment can not only reduce the number of cancer cells, but also destroy them.
Currently, scientists are negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to test this treatment in humans after the following toxicity tests.
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