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Judge a Cancer Cell by its Surface


A new study published in PNAS this week by researchers at Stanford University suggests that it may not be completely necessary to get inside a cancer cell to destroy it, reports the Los Angeles Times' Eryn Brown. CD47, a cancer cell-surface protein, keeps the immune system from destroying the cells, and the authors of this new study found that inhibiting CD47 in mice can slow tumor growth, Brown says. The team injected mice with CD47-binding antibodies, which blocked it from interfering with the immune system. "Antibody treatment inhibited the growth of almost all of the solid tumors and was able to wipe out some smaller cancers altogether," Brown says. "Even when it didn't destroy a large tumor … the antibody prevented the cancer from spreading and wiped out metastases scattered through the body." The method worked against ovarian, breast, bladder, liver, prostate, and brain cancer cells, she adds. A team of researchers plans to test the therapy in leukemia patients in Britain, and the Stanford team hopes to start trials on humans with solid tumors within two years.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.