Cancer treatment research

Cancer treatment research

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Credit: HUBERT RAGUET/EURELIOS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cancer treatment research. Researcher holding a bag containing blood from a cancer patient. This is research into a method that uses a cancer patient's own cells to destroy tumours. Blood contains a type of white blood cell called monocytes, that when activated detect and destroy cancerous cells, amongst other things, by phagocytosis (engulfing). By adding a natural macrophage activator, gamma interferon, to the patient's blood the monocytes convert to monocyte- derived activated killer cells (MAK cells). When the blood is reinjected into the patient, these cells destroy tumours. This research is being carried out by IDM Pharma, Inc.

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