Arab Health: Innovative therapy can kill cancer cells, viral infections

Dubai - Immunotherapy reprogrammes a person’s own T-cells so they can find and destroy cancer cells. 

By Saman Haziq

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Published: Tue 22 Jun 2021, 3:05 PM

An innovative immunotherapy for cancer and viral infections, was jointly launched by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and the Emirates Health Services (EHS), in cooperation with Japan’s Kyoto University.

The announcement was made on the second day of the Arab Health 2021 that is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre until June 24.

Explaining the new treatment, a ministry official said: “The treatment is based on the clinical application of the therapy using T-cell preparation. T-cells are white blood cells in the immune system that fight infection. The goal of the T-cell immunotherapy is to reprogramme a person’s own T-cells, so they can find and destroy cancer cells wherever they are hiding in the body.”

It was found that such type of cells have the ability to fight cancer and viral infections. The T-cell medicine will be produced using the a unique cell technology. These cells can be produced in large numbers and stored in appropriate conditions so they can be administered to patients when needed, the ministry stated.

Dr Kalthoum Al Balushi, Director of Hospitals Department, said: “The groundbreaking treatment technology for cancer and viral infections, in cooperation with the Kyoto University, represents a paradigm shift in health services provided by the Ministry and the EHS.

Al Balushi added that the treatment is based on stimulating immune cells to fight cancer cells, using pluripotent stem cells, which is a recent global trend that has begun to open great prospects for improving the quality of life of patients.

Dr. Youssef Mohamed Al Serkal, Director-General of EHS, noted: “Although cancer prevalence in the UAE is considered lower than in other parts of the world, we work hard to make a qualitative shift in cancer and viral infection’ healthcare. This is part of our strategy to provide healthcare services in innovative and sustainable ways, and implement the national strategy to reduce cancer mortality rates.”

Al Serkal pointed out that the ministry and EHS support the National Cancer Control Programme, and prepare a road-map to achieve the target indicator.

The two entities, he added, are also responsible for analysing the current status of cancer diseases, diagnostic and therapeutic pathways, do research and studies on the control of cancer diseases and viral infections, and support workshops and educational and training activities. awareness campaigns, and innovative initiatives.


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