Granulocytes are a particular sort of white blood cell. Read the original New Scientist article or a related article in Science Daily. See a video of granulocytes attacking cancer cells. The video above is a talk by the primary investigator, Zheng Cui. I learned about this in stumbling across the fact that Chris Heward is seeking granulocyte donors.
Zheng Cui at Wake Forest University of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, took blood samples from more than 100 people and mixed their granulocytes with cervical cancer cells. While granulocytes from one individual killed around 97 per cent of cancer cells within 24 hours, those from another healthy individual only killed around 2 per cent of cancer cells. Average cancer-killing ability appeared to be lower in adults over the age of 50 and even lower in people with cancer. It also fell when people were stressed, and at certain times of the year. "Nobody seems to have any cancer-killing ability during the winter months from November to April," says Cui.
Elsewhere, Cui wrote: "In 1999, we encountered a unique mouse that refused to succumb to repeated challenges with lethal cancer cells that uniformly killed all other laboratory mice, even at much lower doses. Further studies of this phenotype reveal that this unusual cancer resistance is inheritable and entirely mediated by the macrophages and neutrophils of the innate immunity. Transfer of leukocytes with this high level of cancer-killing activity (CKA) from these cancer-resistant mice cures the most aggressive advanced cancers in other mice without any side effect. Most surpisingly, a similar activity of killing cancer cells was discovered in the granulocytes and monocytes of some healthy people." When applied clinically, this is called LIFT, or "leukocyte infusion therapy".
Cui readily admits that he has not yet done much to explore the precise mechanisms involved. For the present, he is more interested in getting the treatment through clinical trials and into clinical practice. So he has gotten very little support from the medical community, and it's been difficult to secure funding for clinical trials.