Ancient “silent” human genes can activate the immune system to effectively fight cancer. The revolutionary discovery was made by Canadian scientists.
Scientists from the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto, Canada have found that we have some DNA fragments inherited from our ancestors that are capable of activating a powerful immune response and killing cancer cells like a common infection, writes Nature.
As one of the researchers, Dr. Daniel de Carvalho, noted, human acquired these “silent” elements of DNA over millions of years of evolution, but scientists could not understand for what purpose they were needed.
“We decided to determine the function of these relics of DNA, and found that under certain conditions they can be reactivated and stimulate our immune system”.
He noted that this discovery showed a new area of cancer treatment, which makes it possible to use ancient DNA elements to fight cancer.
We are talking about immunotherapy – cancer treatment based on the body’s ability to modulate the immune response against tumor cells.