JERUSALEM, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Israeli researchers have found that a type of white blood cells called eosinophils can efficiently treat cancer, Tel Aviv University (TAU) in central Israel said on Monday.
These white blood cells can destroy cancer cells directly while recruiting the immune system's cancer-fighting T-cells, TAU said.
The findings may serve as a basis for the development of improved immunotherapeutic medications that employ eosinophils to fight cancer, it added.
In a study published in the journal Cancer Research, TAU researchers discovered that eosinophils are recruited to battle against cancer metastases in the lungs.
This means that the destructive properties of eosinophils can be employed to kill many other types of cancer cells, they said, adding that eosinophils produce powerful destructive proteins, originally for fighting parasites.
In the study, the researchers examined human cancer tissues by biopsies from lung metastases of breast cancer patients.
They found that the eosinophils reached the lungs and penetrated the cancer tissues, where they often release the destructive proteins.
"The findings can contribute to the development of innovative approaches to the immunotherapy treatments of cancer, based upon the collaboration between T-cells and eosinophils," the team concluded.