Health

Saturday 20 September 2014

'Killer cells' may stamp out cancer

Scientists claim to have made a major breakthrough in the treatment of skin cancer.
Scientists claim to have made a major breakthrough in the treatment of skin cancer.

A radical new form of cancer treatment that relies on the body's natural "killer cells" to attack tumours has proved a success in the first clinical trials on patients suffering from advanced skin cancer, scientists have said.

The immune-therapy is based on a biologically designed drug that binds tumour cells to the killer T-cells of the immune system, causing the cancer cells to self-destruct. Scientists hope that the approach can be adapted for a wide range of other tumours, such as prostate, lung and ovarian cancers.

Results of the phase-1 clinical trial designed to test the drug's safety on 31 patients with advanced melanoma showed there were few serious side effects and that in some cases the tumours started to shrink.

The findings, released at the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego, California, were better than expected and have already led to a phase-2 clinical trial(© Independent News Service)

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