Friday, May 9, 2014

Using immune cells to reduce tumors

This sound interesting. Not stem cells, but the patient's own immune cells, were used to help to help fight cancer.

What they did is:

"Researchers at the National Cancer Institute sequenced the genome of her cancer and identified cells from her immune system that attacked a specific mutation in the malignant cells. Then they grew those immune cells in the laboratory and infused billions of them back into her bloodstream.

The tumors began “melting away,” said Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg, senior author of the article and chief of the surgery branch at the cancer institute."

Now the patient is not cured but her tumors are much smaller. She had an advanced and particularly deadly type of cancer in 2012 when she was approached to try this experiemental technique. Now just because it worked on one person, it does not mean its ready for prime time. But it does represent a new approach to cancer treatment. 

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