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Leukemia cells can be converted into Immune cells

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Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a method that can change the dangerous leukemia cells in the lab to mature into harmless immune cells called macrophages, that may help fight cancer.

Ravi Majeti of Stanford University and his team members collected leukemia cells from a patient and they were keeping the cells alive in a culture plate. They noted that some of the cancer cells in culture were changing macrophages. When the early B-cell mouse progenitor cells are exposed to certain transcription factors, this change occurs.

Majeti and his team members hope that when the cancer cells become macrophages they will not only be neutralized, but may actually assist in fighting the cancer.

What is the next step? 

The researchers’ next step is to find a drug that is capable of prompting the same reaction. If they found the drug successfully, it may serve as the basis for a therapy for the leukemia.

Knowledge is Wealth

  • Cancer is the main reason for more than 9 million deaths around the globe every year. 
  • In India, more than 7 Lakh people die due to Cancer. 
  • The survival rate of cancer is less than 30% in India. 
  • February 4 is observed as World Cancer Day. The theme for 2015 World Cancer Day was Not Beyond Us
  • Indian Cancer Society (ICS) was established by Dr. D.J Jussawalla and Mr Naval Tata in 1951.
  • ICS is India’s first voluntary and non-profit Organization, which fights cancer across India by creating nationwide awareness, providing early detection, providing funds and other supports during and after treatment.