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A disease that has trampled the lives of many may have finally met its nemesis: medical researchers at Cornell University have isolated a protein called Tumor Necrosis Factor Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (TRAIL) that could potentially prevent a staggering 90% of cancer-related deaths.
The team, led by biomedical engineering professor Michael King, has discovered a way to manipulate a protein that causes metastasised tumours (a tumour that can spread to other parts of the body) to break down upon contact, reported the University’s in-house newspaper The Cornell Chronicle. And because most deaths caused by cancer are a result of metastasised tumours, this could have a huge impact on cancer treatment.
According to King, his team has discovered a way to deploy a legion of white blood cells that causes apoptosis, a process that causes the cancer cells’ own death, thereby removing them from the bloodstream. “When surrounded by these guys, it becomes nearly impossible for the cancer cells to escape,” King was quoted saying. The team amalgamated the protein TRAIL with an adhesive protein called E-selective and injected it into the bloodstream of mice, where it latched onto healthy white blood cells in a cancerous bloodstream. When the cancer tried infecting these cells, TRAIL retaliated the attack, causing the cancer to implode. The protein yielded 100% success in removing cancer in mice samples, and proved to have no negative effects on healthy cells in any way whatsoever. As long as animal trials continue to yield the same results, TRAIL will soon enter the final stage before clearance for nationwide (United States) hospital use in human testing, he was quoted saying.
– via Elite Daily.