Cancer today is second inthe largest cause of death in the world. In 2018, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 9.6 million people died from cancer. Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer in the world. Every year, it kills the lives of more than two million people. However, in the near future, the situation should change for the better - doctors may be able to predict whether lung cancer will spread by flowing into the terminal stage using a simple blood test or a tumor sample. Scientists hope simple tests can save tens of thousands of patients from chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
How does lung cancer spread?
Recently in the journal Nature Medicine threeseparate publications on the evolution and spread of lung cancer cells. According to the results of the first study, patients with a large number of tumor cells in the blood were terminally ill. The results of the second study showed that scientists can predict how aggressive the cancer will be by analyzing the genetics of the tumor at the time of diagnosis. A third team of scientists found that lung tumors release a mixture of different cancer cells, which confuses the immune system. When do you think a cure for cancer will be found? Share your opinion in the comments and with the participants of our Telegram chat.
According to experts, all published workscan help identify people most at risk for aggressive forms of the disease. Note that lung cancer more often than other oncological diseases leads to death. Researchers believe that the main reason survival rates are so low is because tumor cells develop rapidly, develop treatment resistance, and evade the immune system. As you know, at present, most patients with lung cancer are subjected to debilitating chemotherapy, which depletes the body.
You may be interested in: Created artificial blood that can be transfused to all patients
In all three studies, scientists examined750 patients from 13 British hospitals. In the first study, researchers wanted to find out if they could predict whose lung cancer would return after treatment. A team from the University of Manchester, led by Professor Caroline Dive, monitored patients for four years. Shortly before the operation, scientists examined blood samples for the presence of cancer cells that left the site of the tumor and studied the number and types of these cells. The results showed that patients with the highest number of tumor cells found in their blood most often suffered a relapse.
In a second study, a group from the InstituteFrancis Crick in London and the UCL Cancer Institute analyzed lung tumor samples for diagnostic purposes. Specialists could predict how aggressive the tumor would be by conducting a genetic analysis of the tumor using artificial intelligence. However, previous studies have shown that lung tumors are genetically unstable and develop rapidly and unpredictably over time.
Want to keep abreast of the latest news from the world of popular science? Subscribe our channel in Yandex.Zen.
Professor Benny Chain of UCL and colleagues conductedthe third study on the immune system of patients with lung cancer. Looking again at a tumor biopsy, the team found that among the cancer cells, cells of the immune system, called T cells, had gathered. This suggests that patients' immune systems recognized and tried to fight cancer, the researchers say. Professor Chain and his team also analyzed these cells to see what is unique in those that are capable of recognizing cancer. According to the researchers, a mixture of different cells inside the tumor probably helps the cancer to confuse the immune system and grow faster.
How will the results of the study help patients with lung cancer?
All three studies have shown that certaingroups of T cells can be isolated and adapted for more effective treatment of tumors. In other words, immune cells are really capable of defeating cancer. At the same time, experts recall that the results of the studies also showed how complex the disease is lung cancer. The fact is that every single tumor is made up of many cells. Scientists note that understanding the variation, the appearance of these cells and the detection of their immune system will be key to improving lung cancer survival. One way or another, the researchers have a long and hard way to deal with this serious disease. And yet, thanks to the research, scientists now know much more about how lung cancer changes, spreads and evades treatment.