Paradigm shift in cancer therapy
WHATS IN THIS BLOG:
• Tennis ball tumors.
• 90 billion cancer-killing cells.
• Highly experimental, but…..
I have reported on immunotherapy in treating cancer before (click HERE). After 50 years of research, this technique is beginning to pay off. I think that within 5 years we will see MANY success stories like the one below. And for ALL KINDS of cancer.
The following is excerpted from a STORY by James Gallagher, Health and Science correspondent, BBC News, 4 June 2018.
TENNIS BALL TUMORS.
The life of a woman with terminal breast cancer has been saved by a pioneering new therapy, say US researchers.
She had tennis ball-sized tumors in her liver and secondary cancers throughout her body. Judy Perkins had been given three months to live, but two years later there is no sign of cancer in her body.
Now she’s filling her life with backpacking and sea kayaking and has just taken a five-week trip circumnavigating Florida.
Dr Steven Rosenberg, chief of surgery at the National Cancer Institute, told the BBC: “We’re talking about the most highly personalized treatment imaginable.”
90 BILLION CANCER-KILLING CELLS.
It remains experimental and still requires more testing before it can be used more widely, but this is how it works: it starts by getting to know the enemy.
A patient’s tumor is genetically analyzed to identify the rare changes that might make the cancer visible to the immune system. Out of the 62 genetic abnormalities in this patient, only four were potential lines of attack.
The scientists screen the patient’s white blood cells and extract those capable of attacking the cancer. These are then grown in huge quantities in the laboratory.
Around 90 billion were injected back into the 49-year-old patient, alongside drugs to take the brakes off the immune system.
HIGHLY EXPERIMENTAL, BUT…..
The challenge so far in cancer immunotherapy is it tends to work spectacularly for some patients, but the majority do not benefit.
Dr Rosenberg added: “This is highly experimental and we’re just learning how to do this, but potentially it is applicable to any cancer. At lot of works needs to be done, but the potential exists for a paradigm shift in cancer therapy – a unique drug for every cancer patient – it is very different to any other kind of treatment.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Simon Vincent, director of research at Breast Cancer Now, said the research was “world class”. He told the BBC: “We think this is a remarkable result. There’s a huge amount of work that needs to be done, but potentially it could open up a whole new area of therapy for a large number of people.
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