Human skin used to kill cancer cells

A researcher discussed the treatment at the She Rocks luncheon Thursday in Wilmington
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Updated: Nov. 1, 2018 at 6:22 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Shawn Hingtgen, a researcher at the Lineberger Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, gets excited when he talks about a new treatment currently in pre-clinical trials.

He says he believes the treatment could eventually cure cancer.

“That’s what our hope is,” Hingtgen said.

It uses a person's skin to combat cancer.

Scientists morph human skin into cells that seek out and kill cancer.

“We like to kind of call them the FedEx truck so that when we flip your skin, we morph these cells that can sense the tumor, crawl into it and get them to carry drugs so that when they arrive at the tumor, they release the therapy right at the tumor for really potent and specific tumor killing,” Hingtgen said.

Hingtgen, who was in Wilmington on Thursday for the annual She Rocks luncheon, says the therapy has been successfully tested many times on mice.

The hope is to have the treatment available for cancer patients within the next two years.

“We’re working hard to get to human patients but right now we are still in the pre-clinical stage," Hingtgen said. "We’re working to generate the data, engage the FDA to get approvals, and then we hope to be in human patients in around 18 months.”

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