A molecule that occurs naturally in the immune system can kill cancer cells (stock)

Hope for a new cancer treatment, because scientists discover that the molecule that occurs naturally in the immune system is the & # 39; suicide & # 39; of tumors

  • Scientists have exposed colorectal cancer cells to the β-galactoside binding protein
  • Protein has & # 39; tumor-suppressing properties & # 39; and made cancer & # 39; more visible & # 39;
  • The immune system would therefore recognize and fight the cancer when it returns

A molecule that occurs naturally in the immune system can kill cancer cells, research suggests.

King & # 39; s College London scientists exposed colorectal tumors to the β-galactoside binding protein (βGBP) in the laboratory.

They discovered that the protein & # 39; tumor-suppressing properties & # 39; has what the & # 39; suicide & # 39; malignant cells.

ΒGBP is also thought to make the tumor more visible to the immune system, which then initiates an anti-cancer response to prevent it from returning.


Scientists believe that their research could open a new therapeutic option & # 39; that an & # 39; important step forward in cancer management & # 39; would be.

A molecule that occurs naturally in the immune system can kill cancer cells (stock)

A molecule that occurs naturally in the immune system can kill cancer cells (stock)

One in two people born after 1960 in the UK will develop cancer at some point in their lives, according to statistics from Cancer Research UK.

Treatments have come a long way in recent decades, the scientists wrote in the British Journal of Cancer.

Chemo, a cancer therapy, works to kill malignant cells by stopping them from reproducing. This prevents tumors from growing and spreading throughout the body.

However, chemo can cause unpleasant side effects such as vomiting, fatigue and hair loss. It also does not work for all patients.



Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that increases the body's natural defenses to fight cancer.

It uses substances made by the body or in the laboratory to improve or restore the functioning of the immune system.

The approach can work to:

  • Stop or slow the growth of cancer cells
  • Prevent cancer from spreading
  • Help the immune system to better destroy cancer cells

An example is cancer vaccines, which expose the immune system to a protein on cancer cells, an antigen.

This ensures that the immune system recognizes and destroys antigen.


Cancer vaccines can be preventative or a form of treatment.


& # 39; The anti-tumor property of βGBP, on the other hand, is selective and not harmful to normal cells, & # 39; said lead author Professor Livio Mallucci.

ΒGBP is effective against the most aggressive colorectal cancer cells and a wide range of other cancer cells that do not respond to current therapies either.

& # 39; This research presents experimental evidence for a strategy that combines targeting cancer cells and boosting immunity to immediate and long-lasting responses to aggressive cancer.


& # 39; The translation of βGBP to the clinic could offer a new therapeutic option that safely combines the direct killing of cancer cells and the stimulation of the immune system against recurrences.

& # 39; (This would be) an important step forward in cancer management. & # 39;

βGBP treatment is similar to immunotherapy, which works with a patient's immune system to fight the disease.

The scientists exposed colorectal cancer cells to the & # 39; lowest therapeutically effective dose of βGBP that induces apoptosis & # 39 ;, or & # 39; cell suicide & # 39 ;.

These cells previously did not respond to existing methods of & # 39; therapeutic attack & # 39 ;.


Within 48 hours of βGBP treatment, & # 39; cell stress & # 39; and & # 39; proof & # 39; of destruction & # 39; fully manifest & # 39 ;.

The same results occurred when the scientists tested βGBP in mice with the disease.

In terms of safety, βGBP treatment & # 39; did not appear to have any harmful properties & # 39; to have.

In addition to helping to destroy cancer, the approach could also offer patients long-term protection by setting up cancer-specific immune monitoring, the scientists wrote.

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