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SCI/TECH: Gene Therapy Breakthrough Helps Fight Cancer

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posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 12:23 AM
Scientist studying the way the body naturally fights cancer have discovered a method of producing the specialized cells that attack tumors. The treatment involves extracting the patient’s own stem cells and re-injecting them after they have been modified into the beneficial type.

Scientists find key to producing cancer-killing cells
A team of South Korean scientists say they have found a way to produce the human body's own cancer-killing cells through gene therapy, offering new hope to cancer sufferers.

The team said they had found that a gene called Vitamin D3 Upregulated Protein 1 (VDUP1) plays a crucial role in directing stem cells to diversify into immune cells known as natural killer cells.

"We have also succeeded in developing technology needed to induce stem cells obtained from a patient's bone marrow to diversify into immune cells and activate them.

"This is the first step toward developing new treatments using our own immune system to fight cancers and other serious diseases."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Any new treatment that can supplement, and hopefully replace, the current conventional regimens of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery will be welcomed by many, physicians and patients. It seems reasonable to assume that enhancing the body’s own immune system to fight a cancer would be less like to produce the sometimes crippling side effects associated with treatment.

The study also touches on the effectiveness of these cancer killing cells against virus-infected cells. This definitely sounds like an avenue of investigation that could be of great value to the world's population which is now faced with growing viral threats such as HIV.

Related News Links
Gene cancer hope

Related ATS Discussions
The Cancer Research Project
Does stem cell research hold any promise for medicine?

posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 12:42 AM
Sounds great. Hope they perfect this and start implementing on the rest of us. Wish they had figured this out years ago.

posted on Mar, 2 2005 @ 08:20 AM
I am with you, infinite8. It is great that the science is improving, but it is a pity that it comes too late to help those who have already faced the situation. I hope that we really are on the cusp of a radical new direction in cancer therapy. That would be about the most exciting development of my lifetime.


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