A revolutionary discovery into the genetic composition of cancers has huge potential to take out cancer, by distributing powerful treatments that are adapted to the needs of individual patients. Scientists researched the genetic intricacy of both lung and skin cancers, which were found to carry biological markers (or ‘flags’) that the immune system can then be prepared to attack. As the markers which show up as surface proteins, are found only on the cancer cells, they give scientists ‘exquisite targets’ for fresh treatment that utilizes the immune system to destroy cancer.
.At present, treatments that use the immune system have demonstrated a massive capacity for combatting certain cancer, but as yet, they do not work for everyone. The concept involves awakening the body’s own T-cells, which are usually dulled by cancer cells. To do this the immune system has to firstly recognize these cancer cells as its foe.
World-renowned cancer expert, Professor Charlie Swanton, who ran the recent study in London, said that the finding of surface proteins on all cancer cells provided an Achilles for future targeted treatment. This means there is finally a tangible weakness open to attack.
The good news does not end there – Professor Swanton is moving towards the first human trial in lung cancer patients. In the UK, the cancer that causes the highest incidence of death is lung cancer. This vicious disease claims over 35,000 people every year. Professor Swanton anticipates this trial will take place within the next 2 to 3 years.
Professor Swanton stated that, “What we have shown is that there are unique therapies potentially present within each patient’s tumour.” He added, “This is taking personalized medicine to the absolute limit.”
One thing we know for sure is that although overdue, this is an hugely exciting time for cancer research, and we can expect to see a massive improvement in cancer treatment, and thus an imminent ass-kicking of the awful disease.