New Treatment Cures Cancer In Patients With A.L.L. 100% of the Time.
Things I Learned Today,” I’m talking about a new treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, also known as ALL, which uses a person’s own blood to completely eliminate cancer in their body. This new treatment cures cancer in every patient suffering from A.L.L. A story in NewScientist Magazine says that we can now engineer immune cells to recognize tumor cells that they would otherwise overlook, and by doing so, can ultimately bring a halt to cancers we previously thought were incurable. The results are actually quite good as well. Five people with a type of blood cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) were in remission following treatment involving genetically engineered immune cells from their own blood. One person’t tumors actually disappeared completely in just 8 days! Eleven other people were then also administered a similar treatment, and had similar results. Other cancers were also given this treatment with promising results as well. It’s about altering immune T-cells in the body to target and kill cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells unscathed. T-cells normally travel around the body clearing sick cells, and cancer cells sometimes escape their attention by activated receptors on their surface that T-cells simply don’t attack. Now patients with ALL have cancer cells that affect another type of immune cell, the B-cell. So, researchers decided to engineer some of the T-cells in a person’s body to attack all B-cells, whether they were healthy or not. By doing so, all of the infected areas of the patient with ALL gets destroyed, eliminating the cancer. Of course the patient now needs to replenish those B-cells that they lost, and this will usually mean bone marrow transplants afterwards to rebuild the immune system, but ALL is guaranteed to be destroyed with this method of treatment. It’s 100% effective against this particular type of illness. T-cells have the potential to home in on what’s going on inside of a cell, and not just outside of it. This expands the range of potential targets, and that’s why T-cells are used. Researchers are doing some amazing things in terms of modifying our own bodies to fight illnesses, and cancer is very high on their list. This of course isn’t going to work on all types of cancers, but it’s a very good start in eliminating some of them. Who knows what we’ll learn in the future? What illnesses we’ll cure, and what new problems will arise as a result of curing them. [charliead]