London, November 26 (IANS) British scientists are in the process of developing an immune therapy based on blood cells from patients who have made “miracle” recoveries from cancer, a breakthrough that could lead to potential cure for millions.
Early results from tests conducted in laboratory not only signal better treatment for cancer but also a potential cure that could be ready to test on patients as early as next year, the express.co.uk reported.
The novel therapy involves neutrophil cells — which form part of the body’s first line of defence against foreign invaders.
Neutrophils kill cancer cells either directly by destroying them with chemicals or antibodies or indirectly by recruiting other immune system cells.
The researchers noted that they have found a way to extract the cancer-killing immune cells from donor blood and then multiply them by the million.
“We’re not talking about simply managing cancer. We’re looking at a curative therapy that you would receive once a week over five to six weeks,” said Alex Blyth, Chief Executive of LIfT Biosciences — a leading biotech company, that is now preparing for early trials on patients.
“Based on our laboratory and mouse model experiments, we would hope to see patients experiencing complete remission. Our ultimate aim is to create the world’s first cell bank of immensely powerful cancer killing neutrophils,” Blyth said.
A key advantage of neutrophil treatment is that a donor’s cells can be given to anyone without fear of serious rejection, Blyth explained.
They live in the body for only five days and disappear before the recipient’s immune system has got into gear.
“However, it’s too early to say whether this research will be safe or effective in humans as they’ve only studied it in mice and cells. But we look forward to seeing future results,” Anna Perman of Cancer Research UK was quoted by the express.co.uk as saying.
The trial, potentially starting in a year’s time, would involve a small number of 20 to 40 patients.