Although the study is still in the experimental phase, if it gets positive results, each patient will receive a personalized treatment and see his life transformed before and after the fight against cancer.
The combat against cancer is a daily challenge for science and humanity. Today in this article we are pleased to offer you the good news and a breath of hope.
Scientists say they have just taken a very important step in the fight against this disease which each year takes thousands of lives and leaves large gaps in many families.
The news was published in the media like the Guardian (http://www.theguardian.com/international), which revealed the ability to treat tumors with a genetic point of view and thus provide personalized attention to each patient.
We give you all the information in the following article.
The fight against cancer has been “a little big step”
To better understand this step forward in the field of oncology, we must pause a moment to better understand how this process called “cancer” actually works.
- Our body is composed of many cell types. Each has a specific function and a limited life span, that is to say, in its DNA the cell has a label that requires it to die after a while.
- Cancer cells, in contrast, contain a code that not only does not prevent them from dying but, in addition, orders them to divide and proliferate, fueled by a specific type of protein.
- A very unique feature of cancer cells is that they manage to avoid the immune system: they resist it and our own antibodies cannot fight them.
This is why patients with cancer need more invasive and long lasting treatments like chemotherapy.
As we can see, the key to any tumor, are the genetic codes that regulate, firstly, the proliferation of cancer cells, and also their resistance to our immune system.
Let us now see what the latest discoveries in the fight against cancer are.
The key lies in the role of the immune system
The study which we’ll talk was conducted by Harvard University (http://www.harvard.edu/) (USA) and University College London (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/)(UK).
- Through experiments with cancer cells associated with cancers of the lung and skin, the researchers found an account of essential detail: when a tumor spreads, its genetic code is a marker that allows it to be resistant to the immune system.
- While the link between the immune response and cancer has been known for a long time, they discovered how this mechanism works and why the body is so vulnerable to tumor proliferation.
- Scientists speak of “flags”. They are like warning signs that our defenses are not acting upon and genetic markers that the cancer deforms to its own benefit.
- Scientists have much hope since they discovered where these markers are found, these warning flags that prevent the immune system to act.
Generally, tumors have a responsibility to “produce their own destructive seeds” and remain indifferent to our natural defenses.
Here’s the key: the immune system must recognize and act on these markers present in all cells of the tumor in order to face and fight them. Marvelous, no doubt.
How to treat cancer with this technique?
At the Cancer Research Center in the UK, the project was funded and deployed to start making the first tests.
To apply these techniques, scientists tell us about two potential strategies. Here they are :
- The first is to do a biopsy of the tumor in order to see its genome.
- Thanks to this, it would be possible to identify his markers, in addition to possible immune cells it may contain.
- The next step would be to “reactivate the immune cells” to make them stronger and multiply them.
- Then comes the most interesting part. Once the immune cells have multiplied they should be introduced into the patient.
In this way, the patient’s body would produce more of these highly specialized cells to deal with this particular type of tumor.
According to the scientists, the other strategy would be to create a vaccine against cancer. That is to say if the tumor type is known, they can produce a specialized drug with the appropriate antibodies.
When will this be put into practice?
As we know, the medical processes of developing new drugs and treatments take time.
First, they go through an experimental level and then more concrete tests on humans can begin.
- Charles Swanton (http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/our-research/researchers/professor-charles-swanton), head of the project, explains that the first tests will be performed with lung cancer patients, in two or three years.
- We are talking about personalized medicine, that is to say, it probably asks for huge expenses from the health institutions but each patient will have a treatment adapted to the type of disease.
Scientists believe that it will be very effective in all cases of cancers associated with tobacco, or in the case of skin cancers.
We hope that soon we can make this disease “treatable” and not fatal.
The fight against cancer is a battle that we will eventually win.
If you think this information is important and gives hope to millions of people please share it with your friends and loved ones and participate in the creation of a disease free planet we fight for. Thank you!