Health and Wellness : 93% CURE FOR BLOOD CANCERS

Discussion in 'Black Health and Wellness' started by Kemetstry, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. Kemetstry

    Kemetstry going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    royaltystockphoto via Getty Images T-cells attacking cancer cell illustration of microscopic photosT-cells attacking cancer cell illustration of microscopic photos royaltystockphoto via Getty Images

    New Cancer Therapy Sends 93 Percent Of 'Incurable' Patients Into Remission

    A new experimental treatment has achieved what chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants have failed to do: put chronic, relapsing blood cancers into remission.
    What's more, it uses the body's own natural defense system to attack these cancerous growths.
    The treatment involves T cells, a type of immune cell that works as your body's own personal S.W.A.T. team to detect, surround, and destroy foreign invaders like bacteria or viruses. Historically, cancerous cells have grown too fast for T cells to mount an effective defense, and they can also trick T cells into thinking that they’re a healthy part of the body as opposed to a cancerous growth that needs to be stopped.


    But in experimental treatments at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, initial evidence shows Dr. Stanley Riddell has successfully trained these T cells to better recognize and eliminate cancer cells in a short time span, allowing cancer to go into remission.
    Specifically, he extracted a person's T cells in order to prime them to specifically recognize the type of cancer that is affecting the patient, allowing these primed T cells to attack the growth while sparing healthy cells and tissue.

    Riddell's preliminary findings on the success of T cell therapy to
    cure previously terminal cases of cancer made a stir at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C. on Sunday because of his eye-popping results: 93 percent of the small group of 29 participants with previously incurable or constantly relapsing acute lymphoblastic leukemia have gone into complete remission after undergoing Riddell’s immune cell therapy.

    An additional 65 percent of 30 participants with non-hodgkin's lymphoma have also gone into remission. And while it’s too early to report the results of a small test group of 15 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Riddell says that they’re also showing “really high" remission rates. In total, Riddell has treated nearly 100 patients with the T cell therapy.
    "These were all cases that had failed all conventional therapy, so they relapsed after chemotherapy. Many of them had relapsed after an allogeneic bone marrow transplant or they just weren’t considered candidates for a transplant,” he explained to HuffPost. "To take an experimental therapy and use it in patients that are this advanced, and to get these kinds of results, is really encouraging."


    The T cell treatment is the result of a 10-year collaboration with Dr. Michael Jensen of Seattle Children’s Hospital, who is currently conducting trials in children with leukemia and getting similar results, said Riddell. The effect appears to be long-lasting, and could provide a way forward for developing therapies for the more common and harder to treat diseases like breast, colon and lung cancer.

    How it works

    Riddell withdraws a patient’s immune cells in what amounts to a simple blood donation. Then he takes a few weeks to link synthetic receptors called chimeric antigen receptors to the T cells, in order to help them identify cancer cells in the body and destroy them. Once they're re-infused back into the patient, Riddell basically sits back and lets the T cells do their thing. It generally took about 30 to 60 days for cancerous growths to disappear in his patients, he said.
    Riddell suspects that his T cell therapy worked so well because the cancers he were treating were blood cancers. Instead of being bound up in solid tumors, the cancer cells are diffuse throughout the body, and also collect in certain sites where T cells also like to hang out: the bone marrow, blood, lymph nodes and spleen.


    What's next

    Still, Riddell hopes that his research can be re-purposed to begin attacking the more common cancers, like breast or colon cancer. These types present a special difficulty because solid tumors essentially create their own micro-environments that can turn off an active T cell, suppressing its immune system function.
    "We’re going to have to learn to combine T cell therapy with things like check point inhibitors, which is another very effective form of immunotherapy for some patients with solid tumors, or to engineer T cells in ways that will allow them to function in that immunosuppressive microenvironment," Riddell said.
    While his study is still in its earliest stages and has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, he hopes that the technology can become available to the wider public within two to three years.
    "This is really another demonstration that [shows] the immune system can be used to treat cancer,” Riddell concluded. "I wouldn’t say yet that this will be applicable to all types of people with all cancers, but I think that the opportunity is there and the research directions now are really apparent."





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  2. Kemetstry

    Kemetstry going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    A Drug Combo That Can Destroy Breast Cancer Tumors In 11 Days
    Medical Daily
    Dana Dovey


    [​IMG]© Getty Images A new finding could mean that some breast cancer patients will not need chemotherapy.
    While investigating the effects of two drugs used on breast cancer tumors prior to surgery, a team of doctors from the Institute of Cancer Research in London stumbled upon a remarkable finding: In about 11 percent of the patients, the drugs not only shrunk the tumors, they completely obliterated them. What’s more, this was done over just 11 days. Although still in the early stages, the dramatic results could mean that some breast cancer patients may no longer need to undergo chemotherapy.

    The results from this two-part study were recently presented at the 10th European Breast Cancer Conference, and are based on the results of 257 women that had recently been diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer.

    At first, 130 women were randomized to receive no treatment prior to having the tumors surgically removed. This was the control group. A second and third group received trastuzumab (Herceptin) only, or lapatinib (Tyverb) only, for 11 days after diagnosis and before surgery. The remaining 127 women were randomised to the control group, or to receive trastuzumab only, or a combination of both drugs.

    The team was interested in studying the effects of lapatinib and trastuzumab, two drugs known for targeting HER2, a protein that fuels the growth of about one in 10 breast cancer tumors. The drugs were previously noted to have a strong effect on breast cancer tumors on their own; Herceptin works on the surface of cancerous cells while lapatinib is able to penetrate inside the cell to disable HER2, The BBC reported.

    However, when used together the effect was most remarkable. In only 11 days, all signs of cancer disappeared completely in 11 percent of the patients. In 17 percent of the patients, the tumors had shrunk down to less than 5 mm. The response was even seen in women who had presented Stage 2 breast cancer which had spread to their lymph nodes.

    According to BreastCancer.org, the HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is a gene that can play a role in the development of breast cancer. The HER2 gene makes HER2 proteins that are receptors on breast cancer cells. HER2-positive breast cancers occur when the HER2 gene is amplified or overexpressed. The researchers believe the results could be a “stepping stone” on the route to tailored cancer care.

    "Clearly these results need further confirmation, but I suspect the excitement from seeing the speed of disappearance of the tumors will mean that several trials will attempt to confirm these results," co-author Professor Judith Bliss said at the EBCC-10 press conference, as reported in a recent statement.

    The next step is to confirm that these results can also be translated into long-term survival. "We would have to be very clear we're not taking a backwards step and increasing the risk of relapse," added Bliss.

    So far, this is the only trial to have tested the effects of using these drugs together without any chemotherapy. Currently HER2 positive breast cancer is treated with chemotherapy followed by Herceptin treatment. However, according to Professor Fatima Cardoso, who is Director of the Breast Unit at the Champalimaud Clinical Centre, Lisbon, Portugal, in a recent statement, the results suggest that “most probably there are patients who can be treated with dual-blockade alone, without chemotherapy.”





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