Researchers at Oxford University have managed to convert skin cells into immune cells, leading to hopes that a person's own cells can be used to fight skin cancer in the future.
In the report, published in the journal Gene Therapy, the researchers revealed that they focused on a type of cells known as dendritic cells which are responsible for part of immune response in disease conditions.
The researchers said that they were able to make the immune system provide specific response by showing identifying markers, or antigens, of specific cells. Thus if they show cancer cell markers, then cancer cells become the target.
Lead researcher Dr Paul Fairchild, from the Oxford Stem Cell Institute, said that his team made use of advances in stem cell technology to create specific dendritic cells that were to initiate attack on cells with Melan A marker which is unique to cancer cells.