In breakthrough, patients’ immune systems attack cancer cells
2012-12-11 0:00

By Laura Shin | SmartPlanet.com



In the quest to find a cure for cancer, one dream of researchers has been to find a way to get the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

On Sunday and Monday, at at a meeting of the American Society of Hematology, some doctors at the University of Pennsylvania reported promising results doing just that.

Even more surprisingly, they reprogrammed the immune systems of their cancer patients using a disabled form of the HIV virus. And, one of their success stories is in a child — a girl now age 7, whose cancer has been in remission for seven months.

Other cancer centers, such as the National Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, are also experimenting with this novel treatment.

This research could transform the treatment of leukemia and related blood cancers. It could even work against cancerous tumors. Dr. Carl June, head of the research team at the University of Pennsylvania, said he hoped that this new treatment would eventually replace bone-marrow transplants, which are extremely risky and expensive.

How the treatment works

At age 5, Emma Whitehead was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Last year, she had relapsed twice after chemotherapy and doctors, having run out of options, tried an experimental treatment that uses a disabled form of HIV to get Emma’s own immune system to kill cancer cells.

The treatment first removes millions of the patients own T-cells and then introduce genes that give T-cells the ability to kill cancer cells. (The role of the disabled HIV virus is to carry these new genes into the T-cells.) These new and improved T-cells are then introduced back into the patient’s veins, where the hope is that they will then multiply and attack the cancer.

[...]


Read the full article at: smartplanet.com






Related Articles
Spain Study Confirms Cannabis Oil Cures Cancer Without Side Effects
Will cancer rates in Colorado and Washington drop thanks to new marijuana law?
Magnets kill cancer cells in lab
Why chemotherapy doesn’t work - Cancer tumors confirmed to have stem cells that regenerate tumors
Study Accidentally Finds Chemotherapy Makes Cancer Far Worse
Breast Cancer Charity Overstates Value of Mammograms


Latest News from our Front Page

Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
2016-04-28 20:10
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North. The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night. A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked. The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
2016-04-28 20:48
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough. Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield. Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
2016-04-27 2:23
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July. The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
2016-04-27 2:09
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown. The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent. He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
2016-04-25 23:10
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are. ... London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race. Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event. Marathon ...
More News »