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Exciting Cancer Therapy Progress


Experienced Member
25 September 2000
Tyson's Corner, VA
I was tempted into reading the article attached to the link due the skin cancer link, but I would imagine the fundamentals behind the treatment would be relevant for a bunch of cancers.


Related article text pasted in:

"US doctors have for the first time successfully treated a skin cancer patient with cells cloned from his own immune system, a study released Wednesday showed.
The ground-breaking treatment for advanced melanoma, or skin cancer, led to a long remission for the patient and used his own cloned infection-fighting T-cells, said doctor Cassian Yee, the lead author of the study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Yee and his associates from the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle removed CD4+ T-cells, a type of white blood cell, from a 52-year-old man whose melanoma had spread to a groin lymph node and to one of his lungs.

The melanoma was already well advanced and in stage four.

The T-cells which specifically fight melanoma were modified and expanded in the laboratory and some five billion cells were then infused into the patient, who received no other kind of treatment.

Two months later no tumors were found during scans of the patient's organs. And he has been cancer free for two years, Yee said.

"We were surprised by the anti-tumor effect of these CD4 T cells and its duration of response," Yee said. "For this patient we were successful, but we would need to confirm the effectiveness of therapy in a larger study."

It was the first ever case to show that cloned cells from a patient's own immune system can successful combat skin cancer. If further tests confirm the efficiency of the method, it could be used in some 25 percent of patients with late-stage skin cancer, the study said.

Using a patient's own immune system to combat cancer, called immunotherapy, is a growing area of research that aims to develop less-toxic cancer treatments than standard chemotherapy and radiation.

Some 160,000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed around the world every year, particularly affecting white men living in very sunny regions.

Although it usually affects the skin, in rare cases it can also infect the eyes and intestines.

According to the World Health Organization, some 48,000 people die from melanoma every year. "
"White men in sunny regions"...yikes thats me. :eek: That is encouraging news. I recently paid a visit to a dermotologist to have him look at some moles and he had to remove two and one had what they call Atipia cells. I had to go back and he cut more skin out in that region (Shoulder) and luckily for me they got it all out. Now I have a 1" scar there but a clean bill of health.

You should have your skin checked annually. Anything larger than the head of a pencil eraser, or irregular shape, or if it has a combination of light and dark pigmentation is a good sign you need to have it taken off. It is pretty painless, except for the local anethesia.

Always wear sunscreen if your going to be outdoors longer than 20 minutes especially between 11am and 3pm...use at least a SPF factor of 30.
You should have your skin checked annually.

Agreed and start early.

I had skin cancer (fortunately a basal cell carcinoma) several years ago before I even made it to 30. I've always been an extremely health conscious individual and lived very clean as a result. I never thought skin cancer was something I would need to worry about until later on in life. My experience with skin cancer in my 29th year of life corrected that line of thinking.
Wow, that is very promising. I would love to live long enough to see the day where we have an answer to most cancers. Having watched my dad suffer and die from it 5 years ago and then seeing it affect MANY others in the years since has really opened my eyes as to how common this disease is. Its staggering the suffering it creates...I would not wish it on my worst enemy.