Cancer scientists aim to double survival rate within a decade

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A 3D illustration of a cancer cell (Credit: Shutterstock)

Scientists believe they could double the survival of people with advanced cancer within a decade.

World-leading experts from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust said cutting-edge research will mean more people get cured while others live far longer.

Cancer scientists are increasingly gaining knowledge about what they describe as the ‘cancer ecosystem’.

This is the complex system which allows cancer cells to thrive and is made up of cancer cells, the immune system and those molecules, cells and structures that surround tumours and help them grow.

Experts from the ICR and Royal Marsden believe by using several methods of attack they can make great strides in areas such as destroying cancer cells, boosting the body’s ability to fight cancer itself and cutting off the ways healthy cells are tricked into helping cancer survive.

In one development, they hope to break the ability of cancer cells to instruct other cells in the body to come and support tumours.

For example, cancer cells currently send signals to areas such as the bone marrow to tell ‘slave cells’ to make a ‘nest’ in other parts of the body for cancer cells to set up home.

Interrupting these systems would help stop cancer spreading.

Further areas of development include combining existing treatments for better effect and using immunotherapy to help the body’s own immune system fight cancer.

Kevin Harrington, professor of biological cancer therapeutics at the ICR and consultant at the Royal Marsden, told a briefing: ‘We recognise the fact that a lump of cancer in a patient is far more than simply a ball of cancer cells.

‘It is a complex ecosystem and there are elements within that ecosystem that lend themselves to more …read more

Source:: Metro News

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