A new type of T-cell has been accidentally discovered by researchers at Cardiff University. The researchers were analysing blood from a bank in Wales when they found the new type of immune cell. The cell carries a receptor that has never been seen before, allowing the newly-discovered immune cell to latch on to most human cancers, ignoring the healthy cells. Yahoo News has more details:
Professor Andrew Sewell, lead author on the study and an expert in T-cells from Cardiff University’s School of Medicine, said it was “highly unusual” to find a cell that had broad cancer-fighting therapies, and raised the prospect of a universal therapy.
“This was a serendipitous finding, nobody knew this cell existed,” Prof Sewell told The Telegraph.
“Our finding raises the prospect of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ cancer treatment, a single type of T-cell that could be capable of destroying many different types of cancers across the population. Previously nobody believed this could be possible.”
Asked if it meant that someone in Wales was walking around completely immune to cancer, Prof Sewell said: “Possibly. This immune cell could be quite rare, or it could be that lots of people have this receptor but for some reason it is not activated. We just don't know yet.”
image via Yahoo News