U.S. scientists are responsible for a medical breakthrough that could prevent 90 % of deaths from cancer patients : cancer cells can be destroyed in the bloodstream, preventing them from reaching healthy organs .
Currently, surgery and radiotherapy are effective in the treatment of tumors in the early stages of the disease, but it is often difficult to detect secondary cancers elsewhere in the body, until it is too late for treatment .
Researchers at Cornell University , USA, have found that the injection of proteins in the blood attracts and kills cancer cells before they can spread from the primary tumor to healthy organs.
The principle of the new method , described in the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences ' , is bind proteins with cancer-killing white blood cells that travel through the bloodstream.
When a cancer cell contact adhesive proteins , which is almost inevitable in the hectic blood flow , which accounts for its removal .
" About 90 % of all cancer deaths are related to metastasis, but have now found a way to send an army of murderers of white blood cells that cause apoptosis ( self- killing cancer cells) , deleting them from the bloodstream " explains the biomedical engineer at Cornell University, Michael King . " Surrounded by these guys , it's almost impossible for the cancer cells to escape ," he said .
The scientist has specified that the mechanism is surprising and unexpected , since it has proved that injection of white blood cells is more effective than injecting liposomes directly into the cancer cell or soluble protein.
Researchers have estimated that the new treatment successfully kills cancer cells in 60% of cases.
So far the research has been done on human blood in the laboratory and in live mice , but not in patients .
" Much more research to see if the technique could actually stop the spread of cancer in humans is needed ," admitted King .