The image of cancer cells dividing and running amok inside one's body has plagued people for years. The "Big C," or incurable monster, may soon be treatable if not cured. This is an important subject, and we invite you to read it and forward the article to your friends, or click this live link: BootheGlobalPerspectives. Or try: https://bootheglobalperspectives.com. This could be a life saver for some readers.
CAR T-cells a Cure for Cancer? Early Results are Promising
Doctors such as Dr. Carl June, director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center, pioneered the new CAR-T cell therapy. He has worked on it for years, testing, researching, raising money for more study. St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital has also worked on this treatment with others and has shown some success. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia director Stephan Grupp is another of many doctors who have been working hard on this cancer treatment. It is the best thing that we have seen. The concept does not require taking strong toxic medicines or radiation but uses a person's own cells, which have been removed from the body, treated and trained to seek out and destroy cancer. It is then reinserted by injection into the patient's body. It is a complicated and time-consuming process.
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the treatment beyond “testing,” and several hundred people have used it. Most patients have seen their cancers shrink, and some have been cured! Doctors hope that these CAR-T cells may last a lifetime for patients once injected into the body. But regardless of how long they last, extensive trials indicate many people were completely cured. However, some show reduced size of cancers, and a few have not responded to this treatment.
There are three things to consider:
1. One side effect is that when a cancer patient is first “transfused” with these new cancer-fighting cells, the patient often gets a fever and shows symptoms of being ill. They then learned that the reason is because sometimes 2.5-7 pounds of cancer cells have been killed in their bodies in the first few days, and the body is trying to deal with millions of dead cells. It really means that the cancer-fighting cells are working.
2. Another risk is that for this therapy to work, a person must first be immune-cell neutralized so that the cancer fighting cells can effectively kill the cancer cells. This requires that patients take strong doses of immunoglobulins to protect them from problems such as pneumonia and colds.
3. CAR-T cell therapy is now being used by people who have tried everything else. It is so expensive and is limited in supply. The American Cancer Society’s Otis Brawley says, “I am excited about CAR-T therapy … we need to proceed slowly and do this meticulously so that we develop this in the right way.”
This image depicts a "trained" cancer-killer cell attacking a cancer cell.
Another group from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has been researching another approach. In their system, the immune system cells are not removed from a patient's body, but instead the Wyss Institutes's approach uses a small, disk-like sponge about the size of an aspirin. It is implanted under the skin and is designed to recruit and reprogram a patient's own immune cells "on site," instructing them to travel through the body, target cancer cells and kill them. They try to implant the disk near the cancerous areas. But they have observed that when the cells within the body are "reprogrammed" as cancer killers, they tend to seek out cancerous cells. Dr. Glenn Dranoff and his team have been pleased to get this new technology tested in the laboratory and moved to human clinical trials quickly.
This technology was initially designed to target cancerous melanoma in skin, and in a preclinical study, it worked. Fifty percent of mice treated with two doses of the vaccine (mice that would have otherwise died from melanoma within 25 days) showed complete tumor regression. The implantable cancer vaccine is currently being used in a Phase I clinical trial in collaboration with the Dana Farmer Cancer Institute. This approach may be less expensive because it saves the process of removing and reprogramming patients' cells, saving time and extensive (EXPENSIVE) labor by laboratory technicians. It is not yet known which of these approaches is the most effective or the longest lasting. It may well be that both approaches can be used or adapted to a patient's specific situation. Both approaches represent two effective weapons to fight cancer that are revolutionary to medical science.
We can only encourage and hope that the dedicated and brilliant doctors working on this succeed in their efforts that could impact the lives of millions of people around the world.
We see hope of release from the most feared and dreaded disease of this century. Is it a dream come true that finally we have advanced to the point of fighting and beating the "Big C?" Our thanks to all of the doctors, scientists, laboratories and hospitals who have worked on this for years. Also our nation’s patients must give a nod of thanks to those who have donated money or made money for research and development available. We at BootheGlobalPerspectives will keep you informed. In the meantime, feel free to share this article with your friends or those impacted by cancer. Time Magazine, in their August 21, 2017 article, did an extensive piece, and we credit them for that. We also sourced other articles on the internet from other publications. We invite you to read Time's article, which is excellent.