A step change in stopping metastases

2014 Research

Michael King, professor of biomedical engineering and his team at Cornell University in the US have found a way of killing 90 per cent of circulating cancer cells by attaching proteins to the white cells of the blood. This finding could mark a major step change in cancer treatment (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).  

"These circulating cancer cells are doomed,” said King. “About 90 per cent of cancer deaths are related to metastases”.

The researchers took two proteins and added them into the blood stream. One makes white cells ‘stick’ to cancer cells; the other kills the cell by apoptosis. 

The protein treatment was first done in a saline solution, where it killed 60 per cent of circulating cells, but as soon as human blood was added, the figure went up to almost 100. 

The team then repeated the success with live mice. 

Next come trials with humans. We will keep you posted.

2014 Research
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