A radical new treatment for cancer will be tested on humans next year, and the process will involve the introduction of the neutrophil cells, which are considered as the body's first line of defense, into a cancer patient's body.
The use of neutrophil has been proven to be effective in laboratory mice, and the British company, Lift BioSciences, has announced that it is already preparing for the testing of the said method to human cancer patients in 2018.
"We're not talking about simply managing cancer. We're looking at a curative therapy that you would receive once a week over the course of five to six weeks. Based on our laboratory and mouse model experiments we would hope to see patients experiencing complete remission. Our ultimate aim is to create the world's first cell bank of powerful cancer-killing neutrophils," Alex Blyth, chief executive of Lift BioSciences, said.
Blyth pointed out that the major advantage of neutrophils is that a donor's cell can be given to any cancer patient without the recipient's body seriously rejecting it. After all, neutrophils can only live inside the body for five days and eventually disappear even before a recipient's immune system can react to them.
Although meutrophils may sometimes fail to recognize cancer cells as foreign and can even protect other tumors from immune responses, they are highly efficient as tests have shown that 95 percent of cancer cells can be wiped out within 24 hours.
While laboratory tests showed that neutrophils can kill cervical cancer cells, Lift BioSciences' team, along with the researchers from King's College London, is currently focused on pancreatic cancer, which is considered to be one of the most lethal forms of cancer. According to American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer accounts for around 3 percent of all cancers in the U.S. and is responsible for about 7 percent of all cancer-caused deaths.
The neutrophils trial on humans is expected to start within a year time and would involve between 20 to 40 pancreatic cancer patients, who will receive weekly infusions of potent cells, with each treatment requiring around 2.5 billion neutrophils.