“Birds of a Feather…”
The scientists made another interesting discovery. The leukemia cells that transformed into NK cells, when put in lab conditions, removed 15 percent of the other surrounding leukemia cells in a matter of 24 hours, without unleashing similar destruction on surrounding breast cancer cells.
This shows that the NK cells attack those of their own kind.
The reason behind this is unclear. However, this might be indicative of many more still-undiscovered antibodies that exhibit a similar effect on certain other cancer cells and turn them into NK cells, which will then attack cancer cells of their own kind.
The TSRI scientists list certain advantages of treatment based on this new discovery:
- Since this treatment depends entirely on antibodies, using them is easy as they require little to no modification.
- Since the antibodies specifically single out cancer stem cells, and the resulting NK cells specifically attack cells of their own kind, this treatment is highly focused and significantly reduces the risk of adverse side effects occurring with other treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
- Since every leukemia cell has the potential of turning into an NK cell, the success of this treatment might not only significantly reduce, but may completely wipe out, the cancer cells.
TSRI is currently in talks with pharmaceutical companies to test this on human patients immediately following the preclinical toxicity tests.