The Telegraph reports: [edited]
A pill which boosts the body’s natural defences could help fight off all cancers and stop them ever returning, scientists believe.
‘Delta-inhibitors’ were already known to help leukaemia patients, but researchers were amazed to find they also work on a whole range of other cancers. The drugs, which are taken orally as a pill, were so successful in leukaemia trials that the control group, who were taking placebos, were immediately switched to the medication on ethical grounds.
Cancer suppresses the immune system by producing an enzyme called ‘p100delta’ which tells it to power down, making it difficult for the body to fight the disease. The drugs ‘inhibit’ that enzyme, allowing the immune system to attack tumour cells.
The added benefit is that once the body has learned to fight off the cancer, it has in-built immunity, so that the disease can never return, unlike if it had been killed by chemotherapy. Although the study was conducted in mice, researchers are confident it would work in humans and are hopeful that human trials will begin soon.