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‘Game-changing’ new way to fight Cancer discovered

A “game-changing” protein that promotes the body’s immunity to Cancer has been discovered by scientists, potentially enabling individual’s immune system to fight off any kind of Cancer or virus. This development offers fresh hope that Cancer will be conquered in years to come.

A “completely unknown” protein was discovered by scientists at Imperial College London, proven to improve the body’s immune system to fight off chronic illness. The protein has been referred to as “unknown” because it does not resemble any other protein, nor does it have a known function. Scientists involved in the discovery have expressed a hope to begin trialling a new genetic therapy on humans in three years.

The immune systems attempts to fight Cancer with T cells but usually loses the battle. However the protein, named Lymphocyte Expansion Molecule (LEM), enables a significantly larger number of T cells to be produced, the amount of which is claimed to be enough to potentially overwhelm Cancer or other kinds of diseases.

The protein was discovered while mice with genetic mutations were being screened. The test revealed that mice with a specific mutation made 10 times the number of T cells. It linked to the protein, which also exists in humans.

Professor Philip Ashton-Rickardt, of Imperial College London, led the study and is certain that this discovery could be a “game-changer”. He has said: “This is exciting because we have found a completely different way to use the immune system to fight Cancer.

“This is a completely unknown protein. Nobody has ever seen it before or was even aware that it existed. It looks and acts like no other protein.”

Dr Mike Turner, Head of Infection and Immunobiology at The Welcome Trust, said the discovery was “fascinating”. He has said: “Further investigation in animal models is needed before human trials can commence, but there is potential for a new type of treatment that capitalises on the immune system’s innate ability to detect and kill abnormal cells."

Dr Alan Worsley, Senior Science Information Officer at Cancer Research UK, says the test on mice is “exciting”. To develop “more effective treatments” Worsley says more research should be done into the biology of the immune system, as it could increase the number of cCncer-killing immune cells

Worsley says the researchers should now “figure out how to develop drugs that target this molecule” and investigate whether doing so would be effective and safe in Cancer patients.

Melanie Lidstone-Land and the clinical negligence team at Swain & Co Solicitors LLP regularly win compensation for their clients who have experienced substandard treatment through failures to diagnose and treat Cancer. If you, a family member or a friend have experienced problems regarding substandard medical treatment contact our team today on 023 92 483322. 

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