UK Scientists transplant immune cells to cure cancer

UK Scientists transplant immune cells to cure cancer

Researchers at London's Francis Crick Institute believe it is possible to strengthen the body's fight against cancer by transplanting immune cells from healthy donors to people with cancer.

Immunology expert, Professor Adrian Hayday, foresees a time when scientists will focus on upgrading the body’s immune system rather than bombarding it with debilitating chemotherapy drugs. The Francis Crick Institute team even wants to establish “immune banks” to store disease-fighting cells of healthy people in preparation for patients to receive this new treatment (1).

Previously, it was thought that immune cell transplants would not work because in order for the body to not reject the transplant, patients would have to receive strong immunosuppressant medications or their immune systems would negate the activity of the transplanted immune cells. Hayday’s team, however, has been seeing impressive results using immune cells such as natural killer (NK) cells which they have found are not rejected by the body unlike other transplanted organs. Hayday and his team believe that our bodies treat immune cells differently and that they could help to boost a cancer patient’s own immune system (2).

In fact, the development of “immune banks” to store immune cells of healthy individuals in reserve for cancer patients is already underway.

Chris Woollams, former Oxford University biochemist and a founder of CANCERactive said, “Honesty is ever more present in cancer treatment. Debiltating drugs is the criticism. The debilitating cancer drug 5FU was approved in 1956. It is still widely used, along with many other drugs that debilitate the body and just don’t provide a cure. It is staggering that we have continued to use the failed model of the Somatic Theory of cancer to produce ever more poor and debilitating drugs and enrichen Big Pharma, with so few scientists at places like the Royal Marsden and Cancer Research, saying ‘Enough - maybe the theory is wrong!' I applaud the team at the Francis Crick Institute. Let’s hope this work really sees the light of day.”

Go to: Immunotherapy - a users guide


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