Breast cancer, a horrible disease. It has taken countless lives and ruined families but there just might be something new that we can use to fight it.
A New Treatment
According to a study from the journal Nature Medicine, there was a 49 year-old woman with seemingly unbeatable breast cancer. None of the traditional treatment methods were working. However, thanks to an experimental treatment she has been able to eliminate her cancer. This treatment was immuno-therapy, utilizing the body’s natural immune system to fight off its cancer.
The immune system exists to fight off harmful things in the body like viruses or cancer cells. But sometimes as seen here, the immune system has trouble recognizing and fighting these cancer cells. This is where immunotherapy comes in to “teach” the immune system to fight cancer. It had already proved effective in fighting other forms of cancer but there is still little progress in using it against breast cancer. However, in this exciting study, it proved effective.
How It Works
Said treatment involved taking lymphocytes (A subtype of white blood cells that are important for the immune system) from one of the woman’s tumors. These lymphocytes were then altered to make them more effective in fighting breast cancer and injected back into the woman. According to the study, this was extremely successful with the researchers calling it “complete tumor regression.” The woman who had previously been in a very bad place with her cancer having had spread throughout her body, was “cured”. As of the publishing of the study she had been cancer-free for over two years. Canada’s Ontario Institute for Cancer Research’s Laszlo Radvanyi had said the following in Nature Science about the study: “…we are now at the cusp of a major revolution in finally realizing the elusive goal of being able to target the plethora of mutations in cancer through immunotherapy.”