As reported by the BBC, Scientists at Oxford University have transformed skin cells into immune cells.
This discovery, which was made in the laboratory has sparked hopes that one day cancer patients’ own skin could be used to help fight their tumours.
The research focused on dendritic cells which are key in organising the immune response as they tell the immune system where to attack by showing identifying markets or antigens.
This study has strengthened previous research by Cancer Research UK as Dr Caeutano Reis e Sousa, and immunology expert, explains, “By showing that normal body cells can be reprogrammed to become a sub-type of dendritic cells with superior activity, this research builds on previous work by Cancer Research UK scientists using blood stem cells as starting material.”
Now this exciting discovery has been made, the real challenge now is to establish whether or not these cells which were made in the lab, can be used for cancer treatments in the clinic.