Cardiff University explain that they are now focusing on ensuring that the T-cells kill cancer cells only, and are therefore conducting extensive safety testing. The discovery was previously thought to be impossible and, although it is still untested in human subjects, it offers the potential for revolutionizing immunotherapy as a possible universal cancer treatment. A doctor would take a blood sample from a cancer patient and extract the T-cells in the sample.
The difference, in this case, is that the T-cell can attack a wide range of cancers.
The work was led by Sewell's team from Cardiff University in the United Kingdom but also involved American, Australian and Danish researchers.
The process by which the T-cell detects the cancer cells is still not understood, but scientists believe the MR1 molecule may be signaling the cell's metabolism has been compromised to the T-cell receptors.
The University of Basel in Switzerland responded to the study, likening the T-cells to the mock opera "Bohemian Rhapsody", as they both "appeared outside the box and are now being appreciated for their functions and great potential in cancer immunotherapy".
What's even more important is that it left normal, healthy tissues untouched.
Experts said that cancer-targeting via this new way is something extremely exciting, but there's definitely more research needed. Researchers tested all the compounds in the Drug Repurposing Hub on 578 human cancer cell lines from the Broad's Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE).
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The preliminary experiments that have been made in the lab turned out to be promising, but we need to be aware of the results that need to be replicated safely in clinical trials.
They believe T-cell receptors communiate with a particular molecule on the surace of every cell in the human body, called MR1. "We just don't know yet". Almost 50 non-cancer drugs were identified, which killed some cancer cells while having no effect on others.
The most usually-used remedy, identified as CAR-T, is personalized to each affected person, but it absolutely most productive targets about a kinds of cancers and has now not been a hit for actual tumors, which manufacture up the plentiful majority of cancers.
The study was published Monday in the journal "Nature Cancer". T-cell recognition of multiple cancers with and without the MR1 gene and other methods were used to confirm the mechanism by which these cancers were being targeted and destroyed.
Scientists hope the finding is an important step forward for what is known as immunotherapy to treat cancers.
"It raises the prospect of a "one-size-fits-all" cancer treatment; a single type of T-cell that could be capable of destroying many different types of cancers across the population", he said.