Universal Cancer Treatment
June 04, 2021
Cancer treatment passed a milestone in the 21st century with the discovery of new technologies involving CD47 and new T-cell immunotherapy. Research raises hope for effective future treatments.
Stanford University researchers found that CD47 protein that clings to the surface of human cells is present in cancer cells. The protein prevents attacks by immune cells so researchers developed antibodies to block the activity of CD47 in cancer cells, letting microphages recognize and destroy them.
Cardiff University researchers have meanwhile identified a new type of T-cell receptor that can target and kill most cancers. T-cells are immune cells that scan the body to find threats. A T-cell therapy called CAR-T has only been used for a few years. However, the available treatments must be personalized. T-cells, on the other hand, can attack many types of cancer without harming healthy cells.
Implications for the future
- Both treatments using CD47 or newer T-cells are still in the early stages. In particular, T-cell therapy must be developed and tested for a long time before it can leave the laboratory. The findings open the door to the development of universal cancer therapies that are adaptable to all cancers.
- As research continues to advance, cancer may just be a disease that can be managed and treate