A radical new anti-cancer treatment inspired by patients who seem to "shrink" & # 39; of the disease could be tested next year.
The technique uses powerful cells that kill cancer of people with the strongest immune systems.
"Neutrophilic" cells, which are part of the body's first line of defense, multiply millions of times and are injected into cancer patients.
It is believed that they are a key reason why rare individuals spontaneously reject lethal cancers and appear to have "miraculous recoveries".
After experiments with mice, a British company is preparing for early tests of neutrophil treatment in a small number of patients.
Alex Blyth, executive director of Lift BioSciences, said: & # 39; We & # 39; We are not talking simply about managing cancer. We are seeing a healing therapy that I would receive once a week in the course of five to six weeks.
Based on our experiments with laboratory and mouse models, we expect to see patients experiencing a complete remission. Our ultimate goal is to create the world's first cellular bank of powerful cancer-causing neutrophils. "
The team, along with researchers at King & # 39; s College London, is focusing initially on pancreatic cancer, which is among the deadliest forms.  Each year about 9,618 people in the The United Kingdom is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 8,817 die from the disease, which has a five-year survival rate of less than 3 percent.
Early laboratory tests have also shown that neutrophils can kill cancer. Cervical cells.
Blyth said that the main advantage of neutrophils is that a donor's cells can be administered to anyone without fear of serious rejection.They live in the body for only five days and disappear before the The recipient's immune system has an opportunity to respond.
Neutrophils kill cancer cells directly, destroying them with chemicals and antibodies, or indirectly and recruiting other immune cells.
There is evidence that neutrophils sometimes do not recognize cancer as "foreign" and may even protect tumors from other immune responses.
But when they attack cancer, they are highly efficient: they kill 95% of the cancer cells tested in 24 hours. Neutrophils with this capacity are the basis of the new therapy.
The Lift team has collected thousands of discarded cells as a waste product by blood banks, and evaluates them mbadively to determine their potential to kill cancer in a laboratory.
Those who pbad the test are cultivated and multiplied many times using a secret process. The researchers are also working on a way to alter them to make them even more powerful.
Professor Farzin Farzaneh, who directs the research at King's College, said: "At first, I was skeptical when Lift BioSciences approached us, it's something I do not think has been done before, and producing these specific cells with the ability to kill cancer is a notion we had not thought of, we are excited about the first results. "
Pilot trials, possibly starting within a year, would involve a small group of 20 to 40 patients with pancreatic cancer, or possibly a rare form of soft tissue cancer.
Each participant would receive weekly infusions of potent neutrophils. The treatment of a patient would require about 2.5 billion cells.