Immune cell that kills most cancers discovered by accident by British scientists
Researchers at Cardiff University were analyzing blood from a bank in Wales, looking for immune cells that could fight bacteria, when they found an entirely new type of T-cell. That new immune cell carries a never-before-seen receptor which acts like a grappling hook, latching on to most human cancers, while ignoring healthy cells.
What makes this new discovery so exciting is that prior therapies, referred to as CAR-T and TCR-T therapies, which use immune cells to attach to HLA molecules on cancer cells’ surface, fight cancer but are incapable of fighting solid tumors. As The Telegraph points out, HLA molecules vary in people, but the new therapy attaches to a molecule called MR1, which does not vary in humans, which gives it the chance of fighting most cancers and additionally means people could share the treatment, allowing banks of the cells to be stored and thus be offered quickly to people suffering from the disease.