The treatment involves using a patient’s own cells to fight off the invader.
Science never ceases to amaze. A novel treatment for breast cancer has surfaced, and at least for one women, it’s been found to be extremely successful.
The treatment uses a patient’s own cells to tackle the tumor. It’s being called a “living drug” and one of the most “highly personalized treatments imaginable.”
As Dr. Steven Rosenberg, chief of surgery at the National Cancer Institute, told the BBC:
“The very mutations that cause cancer turn out to be its Achilles heel.”
The treatment analyzes a patient’s white blood cells, and extracts those that are capable of effectively attacking the cancer in the body. (They are already doing so, but losing the battle against the cancerous tumor).
Scientists then grow these white blood cells in huge amounts in a lab. Once thriving, they are then injected into the patient along with drugs that ramp up the immune system’s ability to respond to the cancer.
And voila. For some, like Judy Perkins, a 49-year-old engineer from Florida with what was terminal breast, the results are miraculous. Perkins was given about 3 years to live after her initial diagnosis. After receiving the experimental treatment however, she’s amazingly cancer-free.
Experts, of course, advise caution. What works fantastically well for one patient, doesn’t always do much for the majority. And this could be the case, here. Further testing is needed to determine exactly where the future lies with this treatment.
Scientists are hoping though, that it could be effective in treating just about 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,” said Dr. Rosenberg.
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