Leukemia is the most common type of blood cancer. It starts in the bone marrow which produces blood cells. Current cancer treatments to stop the growth of malicious cancer cells has severe side effects causing damage to healthy cells.
But now, scientists have found a way to transform cancerous cells into antibodies that will attack remaining cancer cells.
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) made this accidental discovery while working on therapies for people with certain immune cell or blood factor deficiencies. They noticed that some of the receptor-activating antibodies had an unusual effect on the marrow cells.
Successful lab trials showed that the antibody turned cancerous leukemia cells into natural killer cells that were able to wipe out roughly 15% of the cancerous leukemia cells within 24 hours.
Further trials showed that longer exposure to the antibodies developed these cells further into key support cells in the immune system.
Let’s hope this exciting new therapy lives up to its potential!