Scientists find key to 'turbo-charging' immune system to kill all cancers Watch

Synapsida
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Imperial College scientists are developing a gene therapy designed to boost immune cells

A protein which ‘turbo-charges’ the immune system so that it can fight off any cancer or virus has been discovered by scientists. In a breakthrough described as a ‘game-changer’ for cancer treatment, researchers at Imperial College found a previously unknown molecule which boosts the body’s ability to fight off chronic illnesses.


Scientists at Imperial College London, who led the study, are now developing a gene therapy based on the protein and hope to begin human trials in three years.


“This is exciting because we have found a completely different way to use the immune system to fight cancer,” said Professor Philip Ashton-Rickardt, from the Section of Immunobiology in the Department of Medicine at Imperial, who led the study.


“It could be a game-changer for treating a number of different cancers and viruses.


“This is a completely unknown protein. Nobody had ever seen it before or was even aware that it existed. It looks and acts like no other protein.”

The protein – named lymphocyte expansion molecule, or LEM, promotes the spread of cancer killing ‘T cells’ by generating large amounts of energy.

Normally when the immune system detects cancer it goes into overdrive trying to fight the disease, flooding the body with T cells. But it quickly runs out of steam.



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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/scie...l-cancers.html
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by Synapsida)
Imperial College scientists are developing a gene therapy designed to boost immune cells

A protein which ‘turbo-charges’ the immune system so that it can fight off any cancer or virus has been discovered by scientists. In a breakthrough described as a ‘game-changer’ for cancer treatment, researchers at Imperial College found a previously unknown molecule which boosts the body’s ability to fight off chronic illnesses.


Scientists at Imperial College London, who led the study, are now developing a gene therapy based on the protein and hope to begin human trials in three years.


“This is exciting because we have found a completely different way to use the immune system to fight cancer,” said Professor Philip Ashton-Rickardt, from the Section of Immunobiology in the Department of Medicine at Imperial, who led the study.


“It could be a game-changer for treating a number of different cancers and viruses.


“This is a completely unknown protein. Nobody had ever seen it before or was even aware that it existed. It looks and acts like no other protein.”

The protein – named lymphocyte expansion molecule, or LEM, promotes the spread of cancer killing ‘T cells’ by generating large amounts of energy.

Normally when the immune system detects cancer it goes into overdrive trying to fight the disease, flooding the body with T cells. But it quickly runs out of steam.



Rest of article

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/scie...l-cancers.html
Bloody great news.
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Synapsida
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An major Problem with this treatment is that it probably increases the risk of autoimmune disease and I don't like tinkering around my immune system. Good think cytotoxic T-cells are still regulated.
The main point of having trails is to find out about adverse affects of an new treatment. But our current knowledge of immunology is quite limited and I have an personal impression that we have an poor understanding of the immune system. After all, we still struggle to create an vaccine for haemorrhagic virus that manipulates the lymphocytes and T-cell in the 2014 epidemic in W. Africa. We also still struggle with basic autoimmune diseases (in 2015 still!). Prehaps this has to do with the sheer complexity of the immune system. Could any biology, Med and science students TSR members voice their concerns on this topic?
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Synapsida
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
Bloody great news.
Good news but still scary. The immune system is an very delicate system that has many negative feedback system. If any thing goes wrong, you have two scenarios; You get an deactive or poorly function immune system

or

your body goes cytokine storm and goes ful retard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytokine_storm)

Also we all have different immune system that depends on the individuals genetic traits. This is due our HLA system. So it will not be an treatment that follows an general metabolic or biochemical pathway like Ibrofin or penicillin. It would an very capital intensive treatment, even more than Chemotherapy because the pathway is different for individuals, so the drugs that control you immune system would have to be specialized for YOU only. My knowledge in Immunology is limited (only an access to science student). Does any one here have an clue on what the article is stating?
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whorace
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(Original post by Synapsida)
An major Problem with this treatment is that it probably increases the risk of autoimmune disease and I don't like tinkering around my immune system. Good think cytotoxic T-cells are still regulated.
The main point of having trails is to find out about adverse affects of an new treatment. But our current knowledge of immunology is quite limited and I have an personal impression that we have an poor understanding of the immune system. After all, we still struggle to create an vaccine for haemorrhagic virus that manipulates the lymphocytes and T-cell in the 2014 epidemic in W. Africa. We also still struggle with basic autoimmune diseases (in 2015 still!). Prehaps this has to do with the sheer complexity of the immune system. Could any biology, Med and science students TSR members voice their concerns on this topic?
Better than certain death.
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Synapsida
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(Original post by whorace)
Better than certain death.
As I said again, I know very little about this topic. But Agree with your statement. If the patient is an serious situation, then treatment should be used. But the problem with cancer in general is detection and time. Most people who are diagnosed with cancer have the tumours in an advanced stage and and probably have an high chance of it spreading to other parts other body. But if cancers are detected early enough, the cancerous cells can quickly removed and you can be cancer free (but need frequent check ups). An old student I know in my college was once playing around with his girlfirend's pregnancy tester after they did an lesson reproduction. He urinated on the tester and it marked positive, and he thought the system is messed and was still goofing around. Then his girlfriend looked stern and anxious and told him to go the doctors. He did go the GP and they said that he had prostate cancer and if men have an positive in pregnancy testers, then it means that they have tumours in the Prostate glands (above the penis). They took him an emergency clinic and removed the region of the glands effected and stopped the spread of the cancer cells. He is now cancer free. Now imagine if he never playing around with his GF's pregnancy marker? He would most likely have recognised the tumours when the cancer reached in advance or even terminal stage. I do wish scientist look at new ways of detecting cancer cell before it becomes critical. Finding an cure is nice but so is diagnosing it. cancer is not an simple, conventional disease.
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Awesome Genius
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Just from first principles, this will create an immunological nightmare. Autoimmune disease, hypersensitivity, infections...Not to mention the metabolic consequences and chances of lymphoma...
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powwer
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This article is a prime example of why IMO Imperial is the best uni, even above Oxbridge.

The media, like The Telegraph, simply only focuses on Oxbridge. No doubt if this discovery were made at Oxbridge, that would feature in the headline.

Instead, it states, "Scientists find ..... " as opposed to: "Imperial College ..... "
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