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Scientists have discovered a new cell in the immune system that can kill many types of cancer, which they hope could one day be used to create a "one size fits all" treatment for the disease.
In mice experiments and in lab dishes, the team showed that a new type of what are known as T-cells could detect a range of cancerous cells, while differentiating them from healthy cells.
T-cell - Type - Blood - Cell - Immune
A T-cell is a type of white blood cell in the immune system, which both helps to fight off infections as well as cancers. These new T-cells and their special receptors can home in on and kill lung, skin, leukemia, colon, breast, prostate, bone, kidney, cervical, and ovarian cancers. The researchers published their findings in the journal Nature Immunology.
The team believes the receptors on the T-cells are able to detect cancer through their interaction with a molecule called MR1, which is present on the surface of all human cells. The researchers believe MR1 may be signaling the compromised metabolism of the cell to the T-cell receptors.
Study - Co-author - Garry - Dolton - BBC
Study co-author Garry Dolton told BBC News: "We are the first to describe a T-cell that finds MR1 in cancer cells—that hasn't been done before, this is the first of its kind."
Lead author of the study, professor Andrew Sewell of the Division of Infection and Immunity at Cardiff University, U.K., told Newsweek the team identified the cell after examining samples from a blood bank.
Something - Discoveries - Mistake - Sewell
"We were looking for something else! All the best scientific discoveries are made by mistake," said Sewell.
Sewell told The Telegraph: "This was a serendipitous finding, nobody knew this cell existed. Our finding raises the prospect of a 'one-size-fits-all' cancer treatment, a single type of T-cell that could be capable of destroying many different types of cancers across the population. Previously nobody believed this could be...
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