It may well be termed as the ‘next big thing’ in the world of medical science. It is likely to provide succor to millions of people across the world whose lives have been debilitated to cancer.
We are referring to the wonder drug that promises to be the panacea for all types of cancer.
Dr Irv Weissman of the Stanford University in the United States, the man behind this wonder drug, says that the clinical trials to test the efficacy of the drug will begin as early as 2014.
Dr Weissman, in his revolutionary research, has created an antibody that renders the defense mechanism of a cancer cell ineffective.
Killer T Cells Activated
“A protein called CD47 tells the body not to “eat” the cancer, but the antibody developed by Dr Weissman blocks CD47 and frees up immune cells called macrophages — which can then engulf the deadly cells,” according to the research quoted in the New York Post.
The study researcher state that macrophages tend to behave like intelligence gatherers in the human body. They identify the cancerous cells and pass on the message to the cancer-fighting ‘killer T’ cells. The ‘killer T’ cells then attack the cancerous cells.
“It was completely unexpected that CD8+ T cells would be mobilized when macrophages engulfed the cancer cells in the presence of CD47-blocking antibodies,” Diane Tseng said of the study findings.
“Because T cells are sensitized to attack a patient’s particular cancer, the administration of CD47-blocking antibodies in a sense could act as a personalized vaccination against that cancer,” explained Tseng.
Cancer, also referred to as tumor or melanoma, is medically called malignant neoplasm. Cancer involves unregulated growth of unwanted cells. Cancer can occur in any part of the body. Since the growth is unrestricted, these cells invade other parts of the body.
The present day treatments of cancer include removal of the malignant cells through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. These treatments have their own set of adverse side effects. In some case, the patient is reduced to a ‘mere vegetable’. The wonder drug, if successful, may thus herald a new era of cancer medication.