Scientists Reprogrammed Human Skin Cells To Fight Cancer

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Humans become vulnerable to diseases when T-cells, which are responsible for keeping conditions at bay, are not working correctly. The T-cells, however, rely on dendritic cells of the immune systems to identify and mark anything that looks suspicious to them. In immunotherapy treatments for cancer, for instance, the whole process of these cells is altered to make the body attack cancerous cells. Now, in a new study, scientists from Lund University in Sweden reprogrammed human skin cells to fight cancer.

Making the human immune system to fight against cancer cells is not a straightforward task to pull off as the dendritic cells, due to cancer, might act unusual and function incorrectly. That would lead to treatment rejection or inefficiency.

However, scientists at Lund University in Sweden found a direct, fast, and effective way to reprogram skin cells. The results of this new research were published in the journal Science Immunology.

Scientists Reprogrammed Human Skin Cells To Fight Cancer

The reprogrammed human skin cells are both redirecting the body’s immune system towards the invasive, cancerous cells and customizable for the scientists to target only specific cells.

“From a tissue section taken from the skin, we can cultivate millions of cells and reprogram them to dendritic cells in a process that takes only nine days,” explained Filipe Pereira, the new study’s leading author.

On the other hand, further studies to estimate the efficiency of the so-called cellular immunotherapy as a treatment against cancer. The scientists need to shed more light on the complexity of the human immune system to help us keep diseases, such as cancer, at bay. The team of scientists from the Lund University in Sweden now hopes to improve cancer treatment options and pave the way to better immunotherapies. The reprogrammed human skin cells to fight cancer are just the first step to better cancer therapies.


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