In breakthrough, patients’ immune systems attack cancer cells
2012 12 11

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

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »