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Health Fusion: Harnessing your body's killer cells to attack breast cancer

You might have heard about cancer medication that prompts your own immune system to attack cancer cells. In this episode of NewsMD's podcast, "Health Fusion," Viv Williams explores research about a new way to harness the power of the immune system to fight breast cancer.

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Treatment that triggers your immune system to attack cancer cells is called immunotherapy. Researchers at Clemson University are working on a new way to make that happen for breast cancer, including triple-negative breast cancer, which can be tough to treat.

They've developed a protein that binds immune cells -- the body's natural killer cells -- to the cancer cells. Dr. Charlie Wei says the connection prompts the killer cells to activate their killer machinery and attack the cancer.

The process hasn't been tested in humans yet. The researchers say more investigation needs to happen to make sure the natural killer cells attack only the cancer and not healthy cells, causing side effects. But the possibility of new treatment options for breast cancer patients gives hope. The study is published in the journal, PLOS One.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple , Spotify , and Google Podcasts.

For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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