Huge cancer breakthrough: T-cells attack, destroy tumors in the terminally ill

Huge cancer breakthrough: T-cells attack, destroy tumors in the terminally ill

A big discovery by scientists could have major ramifications for future cancer treatments.

A massive new discovery by scientists using a revolutionary cancer therapy could train the body’s own immune cells to attack tumors.

The study found that patients who had a five-month life expectancy due to advanced blood cancers saw complete remission after 18 months and no sign of the cancer returning, according to an Times of India report.

The treatment works by using a white blood cell called a T-cell engineering the laboratory that would spot tumors and then attack them. The research ound that 90 percent of 35 patients who had acute lymphoblastic leukemia had a complete remission — a truly miracle cure.

In addition, more than 80 percent of patients in two other clinical trials who had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or chronic lymphocyte leukaemia responded to the treatment, with about half of them being in complete remission.

While the results are nothing short of spectacular, scientists downplayed the results of T-cell therapy. They noted that not everyone responded, and some patients had to endure side effects that were so severe that they died as result. But for terminally ill patients who have no better option, it is truly good news.

Summary results of the research were presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. The full study will be published later this year.

“There is a lot of scientific competition, of course, as well as growing industry interest,” Professor Dirk Busch of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) said in a statement. “What we bring into the game is, first, the conviction that you have to select the right cells to generate optimal cell products for therapy, together with superior techniques to do it. Over the past years, we at TUM as well as Stan Riddell and Chiara Bonini have worked on providing cell products that will upon tranfer to patients expand to large numbers and stay active for a long time, potentially life-long. We identified a subset of T cells with high regenerative potential, where even low numbers of transferred cells — in the extreme a single T cell — can confer therapeutic immune responses.”

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