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Memory cells to fight cancer

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Blood is taken and the white cells are extracted. These cells are then coaxed in the laboratory to memorise the cells that cause cancer. When injected back into the body, the memory T-cells go on to hunt and destroy tumour cells for more than a year.

These are very early days. As the researchers - led by Dr Marcus Butler of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute - point out, this is a phase I trial, and will need to be investigated in far larger numbers of patients. But it offers a glimpse of what experimental treatments like these might one day offer cancer patients.

Dr Butler told the BBC: "Cancer-killing T-cells trained in the lab can induce long-lasting anti-cancer effects."The dream would be that we could make a library of killer T-cells that we could generate quickly for patients."

This is another good reason to donate to Cancer research Charities.

Patricia Wakeford

Solicitor – Clinical Negligence

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