Cancer battle examines natural immunity

May 09, 2006

Mice that are naturally immune to cancer produce white blood cells that cured and gave lifelong immunity to other mice, a Wake Forest University study says.

"This is a truly remarkable phenomenon," researcher Zhen Cui told The Los Angeles Times. "It really needs confirmation from other institutions."

Cui said confirmation of the "clear-cut" results is possible now that enough of the naturally cancer-immune rodents have been bred.

He and colleagues, reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, said they believe the resistance discovered accidentally in 1999 results from the mutation of a gene they have yet to identify.

The added challenge, researchers say, is that the gene may occur on different chromosomes in different families of mice.

Reacting to the study, Howard Young of the National Cancer Institute said the idea of using white blood cells to kill cancer cells "is very exciting."

"But this is a mouse, and there is no guarantee that the same gene will exist in people," Young told the newspaper.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: People with multiple sclerosis may have double the risk of dying early

Related Stories

How the Burmese python grows and shrinks after it eats

May 18, 2015

The Burmese python's body undergoes massive reconstruction followed by complete deconstruction every time it eats. Within three days of eating, its organs expand up to double in size and its metabolism and ...

Dying cells can protect their stem cells from destruction

May 11, 2015

Cells dying as the result of radiation exposure or chemotherapy can send a warning to nearby stem cells. The chemical signal allows the stem cells to escape the same fate, University of Washington researchers ...

Recommended for you

Diagnosing cancer with help from bacteria

2 hours ago

Engineers at MIT and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) have devised a new way to detect cancer that has spread to the liver, by enlisting help from probiotics—beneficial bacteria similar to ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.