LONDON (TIP): Scientists have developed a new stem cell technique which they believe could lead to a quicker treatment for cancer and reduce reliance on chemotherapy. The method would also be more effective at stopping the disease from returning by reprogramming cancerfighting cells, researchers said. The technique takes white blood cells and transforms them into stem cells before being reprogrammed to fight the patient’s cancer, the ‘Daily Express’ reported.
“This is very specific to the cancer cells themselves. This means fewer side effects and secondly, because they stay in the body, they are ‘living drugs’ and once present move around and stop recurrences,” said lead researcher Dr Michel Sadelain, of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The research has been tested on mice, but Sadelain expects it to be tested on humans and developed as a treatment only by 2020.
“It looks pretty exciting. It’s effectively using the body’s own immune system and harnessing its power to attack the cancer cells,” Dr Emma Smith, senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said.