New hope for breast cancer patients. Researchers have succeeded in identifying special cells that can effectively fight the tumor. The more of these cells there were in the breast, the higher the chance of recovery. That could help with cancer therapy.
Scientists from the renowned Francis Crick Institute and King’s College in London were involved in the study, which was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The researchers attach enormous importance to the immune cells identified in the survey, the so-called gamma-delta T cells: If these cells are actually able to permanently fight aggressive cancerous tumors in the breast, this could open up completely new healing opportunities for thousands of those affected open.
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Gamma-Delta T cells: the body’s own weapons against cancer
The study examined eleven women with one of the deadliest types of breast cancer. The researchers also discovered a variable number of gamma-delta T cells in the breast tissue of the patients, which apparently play an important role in the fight against cancer. So far, these cells have been detected in diseases of the skin and intestines, but not in the breast.
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Immune cells save the lives of breast cancer patients
Of the eleven women affected, five died of their serious illness over time. The others survived and are back to life four years after the terrible diagnosis. According to the scientists, the survivors are those women who had a particularly high concentration of immune cells, which apparently saved their lives. These cells are believed to have formed as a defense reaction in the body after breast cancer broke out.
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New opportunities for cancer therapy
Dr. Fernanda Kyle-Cezar, lead author of the study, said in a release: “To prove that these special cells are present in breast tissue is an exciting first.” From animal experiments it is already known that gamma-delta T cells can play a key role in the fight against tumors. However, it has never been proven before that this also applies to human breast cancer – and now opens up completely new possibilities. This is all the more important since this aggressive form of breast cancer hardly responds to hormone therapies.
Study co-author Dr. Yin Wu summarizes the opportunities that arise as follows: “It could mean that in the future we will be able to improve a patient’s chances of survival by either activating more of these cells artificially to fight the tumor cells, or Transferring cells from a donor. ” Your colleague Dr. Iain Foulkes of the UK Cancer Research Center, which co-funded the study, said: “Treatments that harness the power of the body’s immune system hold great promise for the future of cancer medicine.”
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What you should know about breast cancer
Breast cancer risk: more and more women fall ill. But: There are always better treatment methods. Our expert answers all the important questions.
Worldwide, two million women develop breast cancer every year. In Germany there are more than 70,000. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women worldwide. The disease is often fatal. Doctors all over the world have been researching advances in treatment intensively for years. An important step could now have been achieved in Great Britain.