Cancer cure: Scientists use light to help T-cells track down and kill cancer cells – TomoNews
ROCHESTER, NEW YORK — Mobilizing a patient’s immune system to eradicate cancer is often hit or miss, but a group of researchers have discovered that light and optics might help.
Killer T-cells act as the body’s defense, but are often evaded by cancer cells and kept out of areas surrounding aggressive tumors.
To help them track down their target, scientists from the University of Rochester Medical Center combined the T-cells with a light-sensitive algae molecule. A press release from the center reports that when injected into mice and activated with light, the T-cells were better able to kill the cancer cells.
In a separate project, mice with melanoma on their ears were implanted with an LED chip and made to wear a small battery pack.
The battery signalled the LED to shine light on the tumor, calling killer T-cells to the scene and boosting their cancer-killing function.
The non-toxic treatment is promising, but the researchers are still determining how effective it is on tumors deep in the body.
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