Scientists Figure Out How To Turn Cancer Cells Into Harmless Cells

by Chris Riotta

Scientists have been able to convert a deadly cancer cell into a healthy, tumor-eating immune cell for the first time ever.

IFLScience reports that researchers at Stanford accidentally transformed a cancerous leukemia cell into a white blood cell that works at eating away unhealthy tumors growing in the body.

The cancer cell being observed was acute lymphocytic leukemia, a deadly form of cancer that attacks healthy white immune cells before they can mature into the virus-fighting machines they would otherwise grow up to be.

Talk about turning lemons into lemonade.

While performing research on the deadly cell, scientists added a transcription factor to the patient's immune system. The factor latched onto the leukemia-ridden cells, and that's when everything started to change.

Researchers noticed that the cell was morphing into various shapes and sizes before discovering it held characteristics similar to those of a white immune cell.

When the leukemia cells with transcription factors added to them were injected in lab rats without immune systems, the cells were unable to turn into cancer.

So, not only was there a breakthrough for scientists discovering a successful way to manipulate cancer cells, but this groundbreaking research also shows we may be able to use actual cancer in the fight against cancer.

Science wins this round, but unfortunately the war is not over.

Citations: Scientists Convert Cancer Cells Into Harmless Immune Cells (IFL Science!)