Natural (Born) Killer Cells Battle Paediatric Leukaemia
Researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have shown that a select team of immune-system cells from patients with leukemia can be multiplied in the lab, creating an army of natural killer cells that can be used to destroy the cancer cells. Results of their in vitro study could one day provide a less toxic and more effective way to battle this cancer in children.
Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is the most common cancer of childhood. This disease hinders the development of healthy blood cells while cancer cells proliferate. Currently, children with ALL receive chemotherapy for two to three years, exposing them to significant side effects including changes in normal development and future fertility.
As a way to avoid these adverse effects, investigators have been researching how to supercharge the body’s innate cancer-fighting ability, a technique called immunotherapy. One branch of the immune system, and a possible component of immunotherapy, includes a class of cells called natural killer (NK) cells. These specialized white blood cells police the body and destroy abnormal cells before they turn cancerous.
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Posted on 21 May, 2015, in Blog, Research and tagged Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Chemotherapy, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Immunotherapy, leukemia. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.