Activated Macrophages: A New Cancer Treatment That Sheds Light To Possible Cure For Cancer, Is This The Solution To The Disease?

By Cyril , Feb 08, 2017 02:37 AM EST
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CAMBRIDGE, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 09: A Scientist looks at cells through a fluorescent microscope at the laboratories at Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute on December 9, 2014 in Cambridge, England. Cancer Research UK is the world's leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Its vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured. They have saved millions of lives by discovering new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, and as such the survival rate in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years. Cancer Research UK funds over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses across the UK, more than 33,000 patients who join clinical trials each year and a further 40,000 volunteers that give their time to support the work. (Photo : Dan Kitwood/Getty Images/Cancer Research UK)

Long before, macrophages have been noted as a type of white blood cell that can engulf and destroy cancer cells. A new study led by Professor Matozaki Takashi, Associate Professor Murata Yoji, and Yanagita Tadahiko from Kobe University Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Division of Molecular and Cellular Signaling, have recently discovered that by using an antibody(2) for a particular protein found on macrophages, the macrophage is activated, and cancer cells are effectively eliminated. Thus, experts believe that the study findings could potentially be used to the development of new cancer treatments.

A Study On Activated Macrophages

According to reports revealed by Science Daily, since the emergence of cancer being one of the deadliest diseases in the world, attention has been drawn by the effectiveness of treatment that targets specific proteins that express on both cancer cells and healthy cells including immune system cells. However, the researchers have highly emphasized that some of the foreseen issues with the said treatment may include the emergence of cancer cells that are believed to be resistant to targeted drugs, and side effects which, in turn, differs from those for conventional anticancer drugs.

New Cancer Treatment That Sheds Light To Possible Cure For Cancer

Meanwhile, as reported by Kobe University Online, the findings obtained from Professor Matozaki's previous researches, the group has allegedly discovered that when the protein dubbed as SIRPα, which is expressed on the cell membrane of macrophages, is known to interact with the protein CD47 which is usually expressed on the cell membrane of engulfment targets such as cancer cells and senescent cells, the engulfment ability known as phagocytosis of the macrophages is inhibited.

Furthermore, the study findings clearly indicate that the antibodies used for SIRPα, which is an immune checkpoint molecule for macrophages related to the innate immune system function, can be used as a new cancer treatment. Ultimately, the researchers have highlighted that in the future, as well as analyzing the mechanism for the antitumor effect of anti-SIRPα antibodies in a more detailed perspective, while carefully assessing the safety of the treatment, anti-SIRPα antibodies do have the ability to be developed as anticancer drugs.


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