Spanish scientists make cancer breakthrough
9 March 2005, MADRID-Research by a group of young Spanish scientists could mean a breakthrough in cancer treatment involving the identification of the molecule that halts the body's defences against a tumour.
9 March 2005
MADRID-Research by a group of young Spanish scientists could mean a breakthrough in cancer treatment involving the identification of the molecule that halts the body's defences against a tumour.
The team, led by Eduardo Lotez-Collazo, works in the La Paz Hospital in the Spanish capital.
The researchers named the molecule IRAK-M and they say it plays a key role in "de-activation" of the immune system, allowing cancer to progress.
The La Paz hospital team also determined the mechanism that causes IRAK-M to switch on and suppress the body's immune response.
The research article concerning the molecule's discovery appears this month in the Journal of Immunology.
The publication in the U.S. journal, one of the most prestigious in the field, means that the research - which was carried out using cells taken from cancer patients - has been reviewed and approved by several international scientists.
The team's work suggests that the possibility exists to fight any type of cancer from within the body, lessening doctors' dependence on chemotherapy or radiotherapy to kill the harmful cells.
The head of the research team, the average age of whose members is 30, explained to journalists that they had spent about a year on the project.
Lotez-Collazo said that previously the team had studied the immune system's mechanism to fight bacterial infections and had asked if what they were seeing there could also occur with cancer.
He said that the results were very promising but added that that doesn't mean an anti-cancer therapy based on the discovery exists yet.
The next step in the process is to conduct experiments with rats, he said.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news