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 Israeli scientists are experimenting with immunotherapy, which manipulates one's immune system to identify, fight and destroy cancer cells. While immunotherapy has been around for decades, new advances in the field coupled with recent drug approvals from the USA Food & Drug Administration have intensified interest in immunotherapy and its applications for cancer treatment, especially late-stage cancers that resist conventional treatments. Immunotherapy drugs already are helping patients with melanoma, lung, stomach, liver and bladder cancers, as well as some blood cancers. "Recent developments in immunotherapy have ushered in a medical revolution, representing a real paradigm shift in cancer treatment,” said Dr. Mark Israel, national executive director of the Israel Cancer Research Fund. "Cancer immunotherapy is exciting because, as opposed to other forms of therapy, it engages the body’s own highly sensitive system for detecting cancer cells and destroying them,” Israel said. Dr. Nathan Karin, an Israeli immunologist and his team are studying whether the cellular mechanisms driving autoimmune diseases like Type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis can be utilized to create immunotherapy drugs to fight cancer. They are researching the interplay between two types of cells vital to the immune system: regulatory T cells and effector T cells. By suppressing effector T cells, they impede the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. "We believe that if you amplify regulatory T cells you can treat autoimmune disease, and if you block their activity you can thwart cancer,” Karin said. (INN) Intercede for cancer cures at all stages of its development to be soon discovered and put into use.

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