World Cancer Day’s 2017 Conference Summary:
There’s an army at our disposal, complete with immune cells which are formidable serial killers: those cells keep a record of all abnormal cells they encounter; their arsenal includes several molecular weapons; and they can live eternally by transforming into stem cells. That is why most cancers we will develop in our lifetime will be eliminated by our immune system and thus go unnoticed.
Nevertheless, a minority of cancers use camouflage strategies to elude the immune system, resulting in the 14 million new cancer diagnoses recorded every year globally. Would it be possible to train those cells to be even more efficient and to annihilate cancer?
Dr. Claude Perreault, Principal Investigator at IRIC’s Immunobiology research unit and hematologist at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, explained how stimulating the immune system—via recent advances in genomics, proteomics, and computing technologies, notably—could lead to a revolution in the field of oncology and the future of humanity.