By Aimee Villalpando |Staff Writer|
Cancer targeting stem cells have recently been designed by a team of scientists at Harvard.
This could potentially end of the deadly disease.
According to the Independent, the genetically engineered stem cells have been so effective on mice that scientists are considering this treatment to be a potential breakthrough in the cancer research field.
“Cancer-killing toxins have been used with great success in a variety of blood cancers, but they don’t work as well in solid tumors because the cancers aren’t as accessible,” reported Dr. Khalid Shah, according to Medical News Today.
Although the use of toxins to kill cancer cells is not new, the team of scientists developed a new stem cell that would excrete the toxin while resisting the effects of the toxin itself.
Tests consisted of surgically removing brain tumors and placing the stem cells at the site of the remaining tumor in the brain.
According to Chris Mason, Professor of Regenerative Medicine at University College London, this research “signals the beginning of the next wave of therapies.”
CSUSB junior and bio major Karla Gonzalez commented, “Stem cells help rebuild a weakened immune system which is great because cancer really weakens the immune system.”
Gonzalez elaborates, “Stem cells are specialized cells that can break up and divide into more cells, which is ultimately good for the body!”
Dr. Shah plans to test the stem cells on different forms of cancer, particularly brain tumors.
If it continues to work, he hopes to eventually begin clinical trials within five years, according to Medical News Today.
The research team led by Shah consists of scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
The study was published in the Stem Cell journal.