Israeli scientists create mechanism to activate immune system against cancer


More than 200,000 Israelis are fighting cancer, and another 29,000 are diagnosed each year. A group of older researchers at the Bar-Ilan University and Harvard Medical School have discovered a mechanism that allows immune systems to attack cancer cells better than ever. The reveal is promising for lung cancer and skin cancer (melanoma), reportedly released this week in the magazine. Nature (The loss of adar 1 in tumors exceeds the blocking resistance of the immune control point).

The study was conducted by Prof. NIC Haining from Harvard Medical School and Prof. Erez Levanon and Ph.D. Student Ilana Buchumansky of the Life Sciences Mine and Everard Goodman of the University of Barlan, and an international team.

The learning approach is a mechanism that routinely serves the cell by marking genes similar to human viruses to avoid them as viruses. Now Professor Livan, together with the Harvard team, has discovered that, by inhibiting this mechanism, the immune system can be harnessed to fight cancer cells in a particularly effective way, and more effectively in lung cancer and melanoma.

Prof. dr. Erez Levanon, Bar Ilan
Prof. dr. Erez Levanon, Bar Ilan Photo Credit: Office of the Spokesperson, Bar-Ilan University

"We found that, if the mechanism is blocked, the immune system is much more vulnerable. When the mechanism is turned off, the immune system becomes much more aggressive against the tumor cells," Levanon said.

In recent years, a new generation of anti-cancer drugs has been developed to block proteins that inhibit immune activity against malignant tumors. These drugs have shown remarkable success in various types of tumors. The Nobel Prize for Medicine this year was awarded to James Alison and Tasuku Honjo, who discovered the key genes of this mechanism.

Despite this achievement, the current generation of drugs only helps a small number of patients, while most medications fail to overcome the immune system to attack the tumor. The new discovery is expected to increase the immune system's activity to attack cancer cells. Some companies have already begun to investigate the drugs that work on the basis of this discovery.

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