Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the world, although medical researchers find more and more ways to tackle the issue. The disease kills roughly 10 million people worldwide every year, but one of the good news is that at least one-third of the common types of cancer are preventable.
The human body’s own immune system is pretty efficient against plenty of diseases, and even some types of cancer are among them. According to MedicalXpress.com, MIT researchers are now confident about finding a way to make the immune system attack tumors.
Immunotherapy could be used against more types of cancer
The science behind the new idea is pretty ingenious: tumor cells will be removed from the body, treated with chemotherapy drugs, and ultimately added back to the tumor.
Michael Yaffe, a David H. Koch Professor of Science, declared as quoted by MedicalXpress.com:
When you create cells that have DNA damage but are not killed, under certain conditions those live, injured cells can send a signal that awakens the immune system.
The researchers tested out the method on mice, and they found that it was pretty successful. For about half of these little animals that were studied, the treatment was able to completely wipe out tumors.
Yaffe also said, as cited again by MedicalXpress.com:
Our findings fit perfectly with the concept that ‘danger signals’ within cells can talk to the immune system, a theory pioneered by Polly Matzinger at NIH in the 1990s, though still not universally accepted.
The American Cancer Society tells us that lung cancer caused by asbestos is the most deadly type of cancer. Only in 2019, for instance, it killed over 142,670 people, which makes it three times more lethal than breast cancer.