Cancer Killers

Scientists at Cornell university have discovered a way of killing Cancer cells before they spread. They inject proteins into the blood which then attracts and kills Cancer cells before they can spread from primary tumours to other organs.

This breakthrough could prevent 90% of all deaths from Cancer. It is when the disease spreads that the problems really start. That make sit even more important to be able to diagnose Cancer before it spreads outside its primary source.

The researchers attach the cancer killing proteins to white blood cells which travel throughout the bloodstream.

Primary Tumours

At the moment surgery and radiotherapy are successful in treating primary tumours but it is often difficult to spot secondary tumours until it is too late.

Now they think they can kill the cancer as it travels through the body before it metastases infecting other organs.


Said Michal King of Cornell “These circulating cancer cells are doomed.

“About 90 percent of cancer deaths are related to metastases, but now we’ve found a way to dispatch an army of killer white blood cells that cause apoptosis – the cancer cell’s own death – obliterating them from the bloodstream.

“When surrounded by these guys, it becomes nearly impossible for the cancer cell to escape.”

Of Mice and Men

In tests they injected blood with two cells into mice. One acted as an adhesive and one was a cancer cell killer.

When one of the cancer cells comes into contact with a sticky protein cell it essentially kills itself.

He added: “The mechanism is surprising and unexpected in that this repurposing of white blood cells in flowing blood is more effective than directly targeting the cancer cells with liposomes or soluble protein.”

Very Exciting

According to Dr Sarah Hazell at Cancer Research UK, said: “This new approach is a very exciting piece of science that may hold great promise in its ability to stop cancer cells spreading.

“It’s early days at the moment though, because the research was done in human blood in the lab and in live mice, but not in patients.

“Much more research is needed to see if the technique could actually stop the spread of cancer in humans.”

The study was published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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