Cells at Work! has quickly become one of the major highlights of the Summer 2018 anime season, and a major part of that is due to how scientifically accurate the series is despite being entertainment.
Dr. Satoru Otsuka, postdoctoral fellow in the molecular neuro-oncology department of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, recently took to Twitter to praise the series' depiction of cancer cells during the series' seventh episode.
#はたらく細胞 第７話「がん細胞」を超真面目に解説。今回の話しは、がんの初期発生を免疫細胞がいかに防いでいるかの話しでした。癌研究者目線でも、とても正確な内容だったと思います。皆さんの体の中で、あの騒ぎが毎日何百回も起こっていると考えられていて、そのおかげで癌は滅多に起こりません。— 大須賀 覚 (@SatoruO) August 18, 2018
In Episode 7 "Cancer Cell," the various cells in the body fight against a cancer cell and Otsuka praised the depictions of the body's initial immune system's defenses against a disease like cancer. Noting that the content was "very accurate" in his view as a cancer researcher, he explained that the human body keeps cancer cells at bay every day.
Cancer's usually destroyed in its early stages, but the risk increases for the elderly as cells eventually have copying errors and turn into cancer cells. The body's immune system then doesn't know how to handle the sudden influx of new cancer cells, and the disease then spreads beyond its early stages.
As for the series' depiction of weight loss as a side effect of the disease, Otsuka noted that weight loss isn't a direct sign of cancer but he praises the series for clueing fans into sudden weight loss as a possible symptom. Otsuka says Cells at Work! is a series that will allow readers and viewers to have a "good opportunity to understand cancer in detail" and is a good way to displace wrongful medical information.
Cells at Work! serves as a good introduction to this greater medical world, and those armed even with a little of this knowledge could lead to better communication between physicians and patients. Though Otsuka does note that a stronger immune system doesn't necessarily guarantee full cancer prevention.
Cells at Work! was first created by Akane Shimizu for Kodansha's Monthly Shonen Sirius magazine in March 2017. The series has already gained much notoriety in such a short time for its anthropomorphic take on the human body and its inner workings. Its anime is currently being produced by David Production and is slated for 13 episodes.
You can currently find the series streaming on Crunchyroll, and the series is described as such:0comments
"This is a story about you. A tale about the inside of your body… According to a new study, the human body consists of approximately 37 trillion cells. These cells are hard at work every day within a world that is your body. From the oxygen carrying Red Blood Cells to the bacteria fighting White Blood Cells, Get to know the unsung heroes and the drama that unfolds inside of you!"