London, Dec 20: British researchers have developed a new method for treating pancreatic cancer which enables the body’s immune system to attack and kill cancer cells.
The method developed by the researchers at the Cambridge University’s Cancer Research Institute uses a drug to break down the protective barrier surrounding pancreatic cancer tumours, enabling cancer-attacking T cells, a type of white blood cells, to enhance the immunity.
The drug is used in combination with an antibody that blocks a second target and improves the activity of these T cells, a Cambridge University press release said Friday.
Pancreatic cancer is the the eighth most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.
Tumour removal is the most effective treatment but it is suitable for just one in five patients.
“By enabling the body to use its own defences to attack cancer, this approach has the potential to greatly improve treatment of solid tumours,” Professor Douglas Fearon, who leads the research, said.