A Japanese cancer researcher has praised the ongoing human body-centric anime “Cells at Work!” for accurately portraying how the immune system attacks cancer cells.
Dr. Satoru Osuka, of the molecular neuro-oncology department of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, took special note of the anime’s seventh episode titled “Cancer Cell.” The episode had the show’s cast of immune cells face off against a cancer cell that threatened to spread across the body they lived in, reports Nijimen via Anime News Network.
Dr. Otsuka tweeted on Aug. 19 and praised how the show accurately depicted immune cell activity when a cancer cell is detected. “Even from the point of view of a cancer researcher, I think the content was very accurate,” said the doctor.
He explained that real immune cells actually fight to destroy cancer cells in their early stages hundreds of times a day. While a person is still young and strong, cancer cells are kept at bay by the immune system, but as people get older more cells start getting copying errors and more cancer cells are produced than the body can keep up with.
The episode also depicted how nutrients get eaten up by growing cancer cells, another accurate portrayal, according to Dr. Otsuka. Experts count sudden weight loss as one of the possible, but not necessarily, symptoms of cancer.
Apart from praising the anime, Dr. Otsuka recommended that children and adults give manga comic source material a try for an educational yet entertaining read.
“You can’t remember with textbooks about living things,” he said, “but with this you can remember. Definitely check out the manga or anime.”
With a seal of approval from a medical expert, fans of the show can watch it, confident that they’re being fed accurate information. Just remember not to get too distracted by those adorable platelets, whom fans of the show are currently crazy about.
“Cells at Work,” or “Hataraku Saibou” in Japanese, is a manga series that revolves around anthropomorphized cells of a human body. Serialization began in 2015 on Kodansha’s Monthly Shonen Sirius. It has three spin-off manga comics, namely “Bacteria at Work,” “Cells that Don’t Work” and “Cells at Work! BLACK.” The anime adaptation began airing this year on July 7 and has been slated for 13 episodes.