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Backing up your Immune System - On Ice

Sun, 24th Jun 2007

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A UK-based company, LifeForce, are offering an "immune system backup" facility whereby they store white blood cells collected when an individual is healthy so that they can be reinfused to restore the immune system later in life following a disease, such as cancer, treatment for which may require immune-destroying chemotherapy. Polymorph Cell

Starting with just a small sample of blood, the cells can be numerically expanded in the lab using growth factors that stimulate the production of whole legions of new cells. Using this technique it might also be possible to restore an immunity to a patient who's immune system has been dismantled by HIV. According to LifeForce co-founder Del Delaronde "the small blood sample [we collect initially] will have the complete repertoire of all your white blood cells". So when a patient's immune system fails, even years later, it can be reset using the stored material. "We send them their pristine system from 25 years ago."

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