Big Scientific Breakthrough Could Prevent 90% of Cancer-Related Deaths

Big Scientific Breakthrough Could Prevent 90% of Cancer-Related Deaths

Researchers at Cornell University have isolated a protein that could prevent roughly 90% of cancer-related deaths.

According to their study, "TRAIL-Coated Leukocytes that Kill Cancer Cells in the Circulation," which was published online last week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team, led by Cornell professor of biomedical engineering Michael King, has isolated a protein that causes metastasized tumors to implode at contact. Because the majority of death caused by cancer are the result of metastasized tumors, this development could go a long way in treating cancer. 

"We've found a way to dispatch an army of killer white blood cells that cause apoptosis — the cancer cell's own death — obliterating them from the bloodstream. When surrounded by these guys, it becomes nearly impossible for the cancer cell to escape," said King

The protein, Tumor Necrosis Factor Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand (or TRAIL), is combined with an adhesive protein called E-selective and injected into the blood stream to latch onto white blood cells. As cancer cells try to metastasize and spread through the blood stream, TRAIL infects them and causes the cancer to literally kill itself. In laboratory testing, TRAIL was injected into the circulating blood of mice with cancer and produced a 100% success rate in killing the cancer. What's more, TRAIL leaves healthy cells alone. 


Though surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are often effective at treating a solid tumor, their efficacy decreases dramatically when the cancer spreads to the rest of the body. But with the discovery of TRAIL, we've taken a major step in the fight against cancer. 

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Matt Essert

Matt is the news director at Mic, covering breaking news. He is based in New York and can be reached at matt@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Top Pope aide charged with sexual assault vows to fight his "relentless character assassination"

Pell is the highest-ranking Catholic Church official to be ensnared in the church's sexual abuse scandal.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Sterling family lawsuit, Low approval for GOP health care, Trump hotel sued

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

CNN's Van Jones allegedly says the Trump Russia stories are "a big nothing burger"

He's the second CNN insider this week to apparently denounce the network's Russia coverage.

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."

Top Pope aide charged with sexual assault vows to fight his "relentless character assassination"

Pell is the highest-ranking Catholic Church official to be ensnared in the church's sexual abuse scandal.

'Hot Mic' podcast: Sterling family lawsuit, Low approval for GOP health care, Trump hotel sued

The important stories to get you caught up for Thursday.

CNN's Van Jones allegedly says the Trump Russia stories are "a big nothing burger"

He's the second CNN insider this week to apparently denounce the network's Russia coverage.

Conservative columnist Bret Stephens joins MSNBC

Stephens will remain a columnist at The New York Times.

Department of Homeland Security announces new airline security rules

The new measures could help end the electronics ban.

Democrats on Neil Gorsuch's first Supreme Court term: "We've got another Scalia"

Some say Gorsuch's even-handed performance during his confirmation hearings "might be more an act than it was a real persona."