The All-Purpose Tumor Remover


By Elizabeth Svoboda|Thursday, October 25, 2012
RELATED TAGS: ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
cancerc
cancerc
Scanning electron microscopy image of a lymphocyte
Wikipedia

In March Stanford biomedical researcher Irving Weissman 
announced that he had discovered an antibody that disarms the survival mechanism of a wide variety of cancerous tumors.

Weissman’s research in mice had revealed that cancer cells produce large quantities of CD47, a protein that signals immune cells to spare the cancer cells. So he implanted various human tumors—including ovarian, breast, colon, liver, and brain—into mice and then injected the animals with antibodies that disable CD47. Robbed of their special protection, the tumors began to disappear almost immediately. Most of the breast tumors cleared completely.

Weissman plans to begin human clinical trials within a year. He envisions anti-CD47 drugs being used both as an adjunct to existing targeted cancer therapies and as a stand-alone treatment: “When you’ve finished surgery or radiotherapy and there’s very little tumor left, this antibody might work all by itself.”

Comment on this article
ADVERTISEMENT

Discover's Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest science news delivered weekly right to your inbox!

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Collapse bottom bar
DSCSeptCover
+

Log in to your account

X
Email address:
Password:
Remember me
Forgot your password?
No problem. Click here to have it emailed to you.

Not registered yet?

Register now for FREE. It takes only a few seconds to complete. Register now »