New Study Reveals Leukemia Cells Can Kill Each Other

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( — October 23, 2015) — Leukemia, often called cancer of the blood, is very hard to treat. For decades, scientists have worked to find a solution for this deadly disease. We may be closer to a permanent solution as a group of researchers from The Scripps Research Institute have find a technique that turns leukemia cells into “leukemia-killing immune cells,” IFL Science reported.

Scientists actually developed a technique to rewrite a biological program of leukemia cells and reprogram them to target and destroy each other.

The key is in the antibodies, according to scientists. Antibodies are proteins produced naturally by a human body’s immune system. They virtually act like guardians that destroy microbes and whatever attacks a white blood cells. If they can’t destroy immediately, antibodies, like a police officers, arrest the terror component and pull it away for destruction.

Leukemia occurs when antibody’s program has been corrupted and altered so instead of attacking diseased cells, antibodies target white blood cells themselves.

Given that it is possible to reprogram bio components of a cells, scientists searched for a suitable “programing language” to take control of the antibodies. According to the article published at Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, they have finally succeeded.

While researchers trying to figure out how to find antibodies that could activate receptors on immature bone marrow that would cause them to change into mature cells, they  didn’t expect to see  cells being reprogrammed into entirely different type, such as cells normally found in the nervous system.

New cells have shown they are capability of extending their tendrils into their cancerous brethren, killing 15 percent of leukemia cells in one day.

Interestingly, though, researchers found that new cells were targeting only other leukemia cells that they derived from, leaving other body cells intact, including other cancer cells in a sample.

The researchers hope that this technique – which they’ve called “fratricidin therapy” – can be used to transform any other cancer cells into cancer-killing cells that would revolutionize the cancer treatment.