Though cancer treatment has improved dramatically in recent years, this diagnosis is still a traumatic one for any individual. While we are learning more and more about the dietary choices and treatments that may mediate cancer risk, it is also comforting to know that researchers are making great strides toward a cure.
In one of the most promising new developments regarding cancer treatment, Medical Daily reports that scientists have discovered an antibody that may be able to shrink all types of cancerous tumors. Past animal studies conducted at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown that a compound that prevents the expression of a "specific surface marker" called CD47, which shields cancer cells from the immune system, can bolster our body's natural defenses against them.
"[CD47 is] on every single human primary tumor that we tested," pathology professor Dr. Irving Weissman, the lead author on this project, told Science Magazine in an interview.
The research team, led by Dr. Weissman, has also tested the effects of this treatment on human cancer cells. They found that blocking CD47 in these cells, whether in petri dishes or implanted in animals, allowed immune cells called macrophages to target and eliminate the cancer present.
Now, Dr. Weissman and his associates have announced that they are on track to begin the first human clinical trials with this drug.
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