Huge strides have been made in how we treat disease. Now, in the 21st century, the focus is shifting from extra bodily treatments like pharmaceuticals, radiation, and chemotherapy to in-built solutions that exist naturally in the human body.
- 1 Focus Now on Finding Natural Ways of Combatting Disease
- 2 Meet the Inner Body ‘Hit Men’ Designed to Detect And Eradicate Disease-Carrying Cells
- 3 Smart, Flexible and Modified for The ‘Kill’
- 4 Top Up Immune Fighting Capabilities On-Demand
- 5 Incidence of Cancer and Auto-Immune Diseases Soaring World-Wide
- 6 The Deployment of Lab-Modified Killer Cells May Soon Be A Reality
Focus Now on Finding Natural Ways of Combatting Disease
Stem cells are being harvested from embryos and human donors to replace damaged or lost cells that our bodies cannot replace naturally. Immunotherapy is tackling auto-immune diseases by detecting the aberrations or mutations that are influencing the body’s immune system to attack itself.
Hereditary information encoded in the DNA is being used to evaluate an individual’s predisposition to a disease. With that information healthcare providers can now develop a unique preventative treatment protocol that stops the problem before it even starts.
Modern technology has not only given us smartphones, drones, and online casino games. It has given us the ability to genetically profile cancerous tumours. By sequencing the DNA from an individual’s cancer cells, doctors can now identify exactly which mutations are causing the disease and precisely target those mutations.
Meet the Inner Body ‘Hit Men’ Designed to Detect And Eradicate Disease-Carrying Cells
Now, researchers have identified a coterie of independent inner body ‘hit men’ at the cellular level. These organic assassins are all-powerful immune cells that not only detect their disease-carrying counterparts but destroy them too.
These deep-seated disease busters are known as gamma delta T-cells and effectively hunt in packs to keep the human body fit, strong and healthy. They are judge, jury, and executioner rolled into one; independent little lone wolf enforcers that do not have to rely on authorization from any other immune signals to carry out their task!
Smart, Flexible and Modified for The ‘Kill’
What is remarkable is these T-cells are capable of performing two different safety checks to ensure they only kill bad cells and not healthy, viable ones. They check whether a cell looks dangerous but before they carry out the hit, they check the cell’s functionality. If a cell appears to be marginally mutated but is functioning as it should, the killer T-cells will move on to another target.
What researchers now intend to do is clinically modify the efficacy of these T-cells so that they are equipped to fight a disease specific to an individual. Cells will be transformed into the body’s bloodhounds that have the capabilities to sniff out and eradicate cancerous cells or those that are known to be the root cause of any number of auto-immune diseases.
Using the bloodhound analogy again; the killer cells will be ‘trained’ to hunt and find a precise type of prey lurking in the body. If all goes according to plan, this new way of fighting disease will be personalised healthcare on ‘steroids’!
Top Up Immune Fighting Capabilities On-Demand
What’s even more exciting is these disease destroying cells can be harvested from a healthy host and transplanted into a person with a compromised immune system. Moreover, these omnipotent T-cells are never rejected, a problem that stubbornly persists in other areas of immunotherapy.
Due to the cells’ extraordinary compatibility with all human tissue, researchers are already mooting the idea of immune banks. Healthy gamma delta T-cells will be harvested and stored in banks in the same way as sperm or blood is currently stored. What that means is sick people will soon be able to top up their immune-fighting capabilities… on-demand.
Incidence of Cancer and Auto-Immune Diseases Soaring World-Wide
This ground-breaking discovery couldn’t come at a better time for the human race. As we are all aware, the global incidence of cancer is increasing at an alarming rate. In 2018 there were 17 million new cases of cancer worldwide. By 2040 that statistic is expected to skyrocket to 27.5 million cases.
It’s not only cancer that is a major risk factor for millions of people. Autoimmune and auto-inflammatory diseases, collectively known as immune-mediated inflammatory diseases or IMIDS, are becoming disturbingly prevalent.
Neurological IMIDs like multiple sclerosis are increasing at a rate of 3.7 percent per year. Type 1 diabetes is increasing rapidly, especially in the 0 to four years age group and the incidence of endocrine and rheumatic diseases is soaring by more than 6 percent per year.
The Deployment of Lab-Modified Killer Cells May Soon Be A Reality
The good news is that these diseases can be prevented through immunotherapy and the deployment of healthy gamma delta T-cells to the affected person.
As auto-inflammatory diseases are associated with mutations that influence the immune system, the best way to eradicate them is by ‘letting the dogs out’ in the form of natural killer cells that have been finetuned to detect and destroy the cells carrying a particular type of disease… but without foraging on healthy cells!
Science has recently come up with all sorts of remarkable breakthroughs. Researchers are hard at work refining gene therapy, where embryos are edited to avoid genetic diseases. An automated artificial pancreas system capable of regulating the insulin levels in diabetic patients is at an advanced stage and the first human head transplant has already been carried out by an Italian neurosurgeon.
Human ingenuity, innovation and huge advances in technology mean that medical science is always on the cusp of something great. One can only wonder what the future holds for medicine in ten, twenty and fifty years’ time!