‘Immune banks’ will hold immune cells and can be delivered to hospitals in hours
•The treatment is said to be the ‘ultimate’ approach to using the immune system
•It’s set to be used as early as next year with impressive results so far
groundbreaking treatment for cancer which uses immune cells from strangers could save millions of lives in the future, scientists believe.
The treatment, still in its early days, will strengthen the immune systems of patients while avoiding toxic side effects such as those caused by chemotherapy.
The team at the Francis Crick Institute in London now want to set-up the first immune banks which will store the ‘Natural Killer’ cells.
This would allow oncologists to order a batch of immune cells to be delivered to clinics in a matter of hours to then be infused into patients.
Once in the body the cells would join forces with the patient’s own immune system to fight off tumours using a natural ‘DIY’ approach.
Professor Adrian Hayday, group leader of the Immunosurveillance Lab at The Crick, told The Telegraph: ‘We’re not quite there yet.
‘But that’s what we’re trying now. There is every capability of getting cell banks like this established.’
Professor Hayday added that ‘even a few years ago’ there was little belief cancer could be tackled in any other way than attacking the disease itself.