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Immune Cells in your body is the strongest helper when battling cancer
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Immune Cells in your body is the strongest helper when battling cancer.
The strongest helper in the battle against cancer is hidden in the body and is impeccable once awakened!
In our body, cancer cells actually form every day. But why only some people get cancer? This is due to the large and sophisticated immune system of our body, and immune cells are the defense against cancer. They are like patrol officers, patrolling around the body with blood circulation to monitor abnormalities.
There are two main types of immune cells responsible for this task, namely natural killer cells (NK) and T cells. Among them, NK cells play a major role. Compared with T cells, NK cells have their own unique advantages. In the fight against cancer, NK cells are the most powerful helper, so why do you say that? After reading this article, you will be overwhelmed by the ability of NK cells to overcome obstacles!
Get to know NK cells, the first line of defense of the human body!
NK cells, also known as natural killer cells, are the third type of lymphocytes in the human body. Their surface lacks the specific markers of T cells and B cells such as TCR and Smlg, and they were once called naked cells. The most powerful thing about NK cells is that they don’t need an antigen presentation process, and they can directly and quickly rectify foreign objects (viruses, bacteria infected cells, cancer cells, senescent cells, etc.) directly and quickly without the need for others to report. It accounts for 5%-10% of lymphocytes in human peripheral blood. As the core part of the immune system, it is the most valuable innate immune cells in the human body.
NK cells can inhibit the invasion of bacteria and viruses, remove cancerous, diseased, and senescent cells, and have the effects of preventing cancer and delaying the aging of the body. They have been recognized by the medical community as the “first barrier of the human body” and the scavenger of blood. Stick to the post all the time and monitor the abnormalities of the body along with the blood circulation.
It is our blood patrol, cruising in the blood and distributed in all organs of the body. Once bacteria, viruses and diseased, cancerous, and aging cells in the body are found, they will carry out immune attacks and activate other immune cells to fight together to kill and eliminate. Harmful cells in the body.
NK cells in the circulation are usually dormant. Once activated by external stimuli, they will penetrate into most tissues and attack tumor cells and virus-infected cells. NK cells are different from T cells. They do not require antibodies or antigen sensitization to kill certain tumor cells or virus-infected cells. That is to say, NK cells must be on the front line of the battle.
As immune cells, how do NK cells stand out?
According to the surface molecular markers of immune cells, NK cells express many surface molecules. CD56+CD16+CD3-TCR-BCR- lymphoid cells are usually designated as NK cells (note: the following three markers are all negative), and CD56 The expression density is different, and NK is divided into two groups: CD56bright and CD56dim.
After reading this text, you may be a little confused. It’s okay. Just remember that the phenotype of NK cells is CD3-/CD16+/CD56+, because CD3+ cells belong to the category of T cells, so the surface of NK cells CD3 expression must be negative, because it is different from T cells in its own way, and the other two molecules are positive, which are also the main molecular characteristics of NK cells. In NK cell culture, isolation and identification, the phenotypes of CD3, CD16, and CD56 molecules on the cell surface are distinguished by flow cytometry. Let’s use a picture to briefly understand whether the cultured NK cells are NK cells. .
The red area in the green box on the right is obviously larger than that on the left, indicating that there are more CD16+/CD56+ cells, that is, after 12 days of culture, more and more NK cells
How do NK cells recognize normal and abnormal somatic cells?
Dr. Marissa of the University of Maryland in the United States revealed this problem in the journal Nature: NK cells are like a “molecular patrol”, patrolling everywhere in the bloodstream, once they find foreign cells that have lost their self-identification (called MHC) Or mutant cells, the receptors of NK cells immediately send out a signal, rush to the target cell membrane, release toxic particles to it, quickly melt the target cell, and kill the cancer cell within 5 minutes.
It needs to be understood that the absolute number of NK cells in the blood does not represent the size of the immune function. What is important is the activity of NK cells, that is, the ability to destroy and recognize cancer cells. A large number of studies have shown that people with low NK cell activity are prone to cancer or virus infection; while cancer patients with low NK cell activity are prone to metastasis or recurrence.
Studies have also shown that: mental stress and emotional pessimism will reduce the immune function of NK cells. Their NK cells can recognize abnormal cells, but they cannot eliminate them. Therefore, a positive attitude is an important factor in ensuring health. For cancer patients, it is necessary to get rid of the troubles of the disease, put aside the pressure, make themselves happy and active, in order to play a positive role in the treatment of cancer.
Age is also the impactor for NK cells!
We often hear some middle-aged women say that time is really a “pig-killing knife”! In reality, age is not a “killing knife” for NK cells!
I saw that NK cells are so powerful. If there is any abnormality in the body, NK cells can charge and kill invisible, and instantly feel that the human body is also powerful enough to be fearless. However, with the increase of age, the body’s immune function is gradually degrading, which is the law of natural evolution. NK cells are also inevitable, and their number and activity will decrease accordingly.
Especially after the age of 40, the number, activity, and ability of NK cells to kill tumors will gradually decrease; by the age of 60, it will drop to 50% of the function of the young period. It is conceivable that the entire immune function of the body is at this time. How bad, the risk of infection and cancer will increase significantly.
The higher the proportion of NK cells, the less likely it is to get cancer. Before a NK cell falls, it has killed 27 cancer cells. Therefore, if you want to prevent cancer, you must increase the activity of your own NK cells by an order of magnitude. The highest proportion of NK cells in normal humans is 23.8%, while the NK cells in general tumor patients are only about 7%, so NK cells play an important role in the process of cancer.
Look at the scene where NK cells are fighting against cancer cells!
As long as there is any disturbance in the body, NK cells can sense it in time, quickly find the location of the cancer cells, and kill them in the budding state, and the cancer cells will not be able to multiply and grow. However, due to some reasons (such as being older), the number of NK cells in the body decreases and their activity becomes poor. When they are unable to complete their duties, cancer cells may escape the catastrophe, causing their proliferation momentum to suddenly lose control. Cancer cells have the upper hand, proliferating crazily and rapidly.
The pink balls are NK cells, and the purple balls are cancer cells
At this time, cancer cells will also release a substance similar to sleeping pills like NK cells to hypnotize them. NK cells whose original activity has deteriorated are even worse, making them even more helpless. The expansion and reproduction of cancer cells is out of control, and it will cause the body’s immune function to be suppressed. In such a vicious circle, cancer cells gradually occupy the high ground, and the immune system becomes weaker, causing the body to fall into a state of strong immunosuppression.
The cancer cells are out of control and begin to proliferate rapidly, and the lesions slowly become larger. In addition, the immune system is getting weaker and weaker, the body will gradually show symptoms, and the cancer will be discovered.
In order to fight cancer, the suppressed immune system must be awakened. How can it be awakened? It is necessary to give strong enough immune stimulation, for example, the pathogenic bacteria that can infect the human body are very dangerous. Because of its very toxic, but the weak patients cannot tolerate such infections, they are easy to die! If low-toxicity methods such as vaccines are used to stimulate the immune system, the intensity is too small, and dormant immune cells cannot be awakened.
NK cell therapy has gone through ups and downs and finally came out!
Therefore, after countless discussions and verifications, scientists have discovered that the cells are brought out of the human body in advance, given strong enough stimulation in vitro, so that they can regain the ability to fight cancer cells after being activated, and then return them to cancer patients. All cancer cells in the body can be wiped out! This new way of fighting cancer is called cellular immunotherapy.
Cellular immunotherapy is mainly divided into two categories, NK cell therapy and T cell therapy. Corresponding to the two types of immune cells that are responsible for destroying cancer cells mentioned above, this article focuses on NK cell therapy.
NK cells are actually very difficult to be processed artificially, and their ability to proliferate in vitro is very weak. Even if a certain number of NK cells are obtained, their activity will be lost over time, so it is necessary to obtain a high number and activity Strong NK cells is a very difficult thing. In the early days, when American scientists treated cancer patients with NK cell therapy, most of the patients needed to be monitored in the ICU ward, because the side effects were relatively large and the patients might be at risk at any time.
After years of research, scientists from Kyoto University in Japan have discovered a more gentle and complex NK cell culture method, including the stimulus intensity and type of NK cells, and the time point for the reinfusion of the cultured NK cells, all of which have been rigorously tested. Make sure, especially the culture medium, that is, the food needed for the proliferation and growth of NK cells. In different growth stages, the components need to be continuously changed to meet the growth needs of NK cells.
Therefore, for the first time in the world, it has not only enhanced the activity of NK cells, but also successfully increased the number of NK cells, and completed the two basic requirements necessary for NK cells to be injected into the body to fight cancer cells. At present, whether it is China, Japan or the United States, NK cell culture technology has been very mature.
The patient only needs to cooperate with blood collection and reinfusion!
1. Blood collection
Take 30-50ml of peripheral blood from cancer patients to extract mononuclear cells;
2. Laboratory cultivation
In the laboratory, conduct NK cell induction and expansion for 5 to 7 days;
After the NK cell culture is completed, it is returned to the cancer patient like an infusion.
NK cell treatment detailed process
The principle of NK cell reinfusion is very particular!
In NK cell therapy, the principle of reinfusion is to draw blood from the patient for culture only once in a course of treatment, and inject the cultured NK cells back into the patient in batches, 1-2 times a week. Generally, at least reinfusion in a course of treatment 4 times. Of course, the number of return times is not arbitrarily determined, which is also confirmed by scientific experiments.
The purpose of such fractional infusion is mainly for two purposes: one is to reduce the occurrence of side effects, and the other is to maintain the body’s complete immune function state.
First, as we said earlier, when NK cells were reinfused in the United States in the early days, patients needed to be monitored and treated in the ICU due to side effects. The NK cells modified and cultured by Kyoto University in Japan coupled with fractional infusion will greatly reduce the incidence and severity of side effects. Because patients who receive NK cell reinfusion, receive strong immune stimulation, some immune side effects such as fever will inevitably occur. The situation will also vary from person to person, and some people will also show different symptoms such as coldness. These side effects are controllable. The fractional infusion of NK cells not only avoids the occurrence of side effects, but also avoids hospitalization, which increases the convenience of patients’ daily life.
Second, because the NK cells that are returned to the body will sacrifice part of the fight against cancer, the strong immunosuppressive effect of cancer patients will also restrain some of the NK cells. Therefore, before the activity of NK cells transferred back into the body disappears, the next batch of newly cultured NK cells should be supplemented in time to quickly restore the combat strength of NK cells, without giving cancer cells a chance to resurrect, and achieve the goal of annihilation in one fell swoop.
What are the functions of NK cells after reinfusion?
1. After a large number of active NK cells are returned to the body, they will release perforin and granzyme, which can directly attack cancer cells;
2. The NK cells after reinfusion and the eliminated cancer cells will send various immune stimulating substances (such as interferon) to the original NK cells in the body to activate them and increase the number of the overall NK cell team;
3. CTL cells (cytotoxic T lymphocytes) in the body will also wake up from immunosuppression, begin to proliferate, and enhance the ability to attack cancer cells.
How is the killing function of NK cells achieved?
NK cells kill foreign bodies mainly through the following 4 ways, namely:
1. Direct kill
NK cells directly release cytotoxic particles such as perforin and granzyme through exocytosis. Perforin perforates the surface of the target cell, allowing granzyme b to enter the target cell and induce apoptosis of the target cell.
2. Induce apoptosis
Activated NK cells express Fas (CD95) ligand and TRAIL (TNF related apoptosis inducing ligand) molecules, and induce CD95+ target cells and TRAIL receptor-positive target cells to cascade through endogenous enzymes Apoptosis occurs in the reaction, and the target cell enters a state of programmed apoptosis.
3. Cytokine-mediated killing
NK cells can synthesize and secrete a variety of cytokines, such as IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL1, IL5, IL8, IL10 and G-CSF, etc., directly acting on target cells, or attacking target cells by further activating other types of immune cells .
4. Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC)
After the low-affinity CD16 molecule of NK cells binds to the target cell IgG antibody complex, it activates protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) to phosphorylate the tyrosine of PLC γ, and cleavage membrane phosphatidylinositol into inositol triphosphate ( IP3) and diacylglycerol, IP3 increases the intracellular free calcium concentration, and then releases cytotoxic substances (such as perforin and granzyme).
NK cell treatment of cancer cases!
01. Colon cancer liver metastasis
A 53-year-old male with liver metastases from colon cancer. After multiple chemotherapy, the condition has not been controlled; after two NK cell treatments, the liver metastases subsided.
02. Advanced breast cancer
A 56-year-old woman with advanced breast cancer has metastasis to the axillary and clavicle lymph nodes. After 17 NK cell treatments, the metastatic lesions were significantly resolved.
03. Stage IIIc ovarian cancer
33-year-old female with ovarian cancer. After 9 NK cell treatments, the CA125 index decreased significantly and the condition was significantly alleviated.
The pink column is the CA125 data after the start of NK cell therapy
NK cell immunotherapy is a very mild therapy. Compared with radiotherapy, chemotherapy and targeted therapy, NK cell immunotherapy has minimal side effects, only transient fever, etc. There is no drug resistance. It is also to treat the root cause of cancer, to cultivate and activate the cancer patient’s own immune cells to restore the instinct of killing cancer cells, improve the body’s immunity, and effectively fight cancer.
Therefore, NK cell therapy can be combined with other treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Long-term treatment can delay the recurrence time, improve the quality of life, extend the survival period, and make cancer a chronic disease no longer difficult!
(source:internet, reference only)