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Thread: Immunotherapy holds promise of turning blood into cancer drugs

  1. #1
    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Immunotherapy holds promise of turning blood into cancer drugs

    Elaine Thompson
    June 12, 2017

    Ken Shefveland's body was swollen with cancer, treatment after treatment failing until doctors gambled on a radical approach: They removed some of his immune cells, engineered them into cancer assassins and unleashed them into his bloodstream.
    Immune therapy is the hottest trend in cancer care and this is its next frontier — creating "living drugs" that grow inside the body into an army that seeks and destroys tumors.
    Looking in the mirror, Shefveland saw "the cancer was just melting away." A month later doctors at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center couldn't find any signs of lymphoma in the Vancouver, Washington, man's body.

    Read more at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cancer-d...therapy-car-t/
    Last edited by Islander; 07-12-17 at 07:19 PM.

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Immunotherapy holds promise of turning blood into cancer drugs

    That's exciting, but it seems it has a long way to go - and will be very expensive.

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Immunotherapy holds promise of turning blood into cancer drugs

    Fascinating discovery. As Julieanne stated, obviously a long way to go!!! So, the goal is to "super-charge" the immune system with a one-time shot of killer cells. I'm reminded that young adults between the ages of 20 - 30 yrs. of age were hardest hit by the 1918 influenza because they had the strongest immune systems. So, in these young people a strong immune system actually worked against them. I wonder if super-charging the immune systems of younger cancer patients may actually produce adverse consequences.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Immunotherapy holds promise of turning blood into cancer drugs

    I remember reading that, Mr. Wizard, but I can't remember whether the reason was ever known. Do you know why that oddity occurred?
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Immunotherapy holds promise of turning blood into cancer drugs

    I'm not sure they ever reached a definitive reason for the deaths. As I recall, though, the younger people had an over-abundance of killer T-cells, which eventually overburdened their lungs and killed them. Older people with less strong systems did not suffer this fate.

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Immunotherapy holds promise of turning blood into cancer drugs

    I had no idea that medicine was that advanced in 1918!

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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Immunotherapy holds promise of turning blood into cancer drugs

    Quote Originally Posted by Julieanne View Post
    I had no idea that medicine was that advanced in 1918!
    Not sure the medical treatment had much to do with it. There are several theories about why young people between the ages of 20 to 40 accounted for "nearly half" of the 50 million deaths worldwide from the 1918 pandemic influenza A. One theory is that young people were at a disadvantage because of their stronger immune systems. Here's a quote from one source: "Why Spanish flu was so fatal, especially to people in the prime of their lives, is what scientists are striving to understand. A pathologist named Johan Hultin collected an intact, long-frozen sample of the Spanish flu virus from a mass grave in a tiny Alaska town called Brevig Mission, where 85 percent of the population had been felled by the flu in a single week. Research on that sample has shown that one way Spanish flu worked was by overstimulating the immune system and turning it against its owner — so having a strong immune system to begin with may have been a disadvantage."
    Here's the full source: http://time.com/3731745/spanish-flu-history/

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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Immunotherapy holds promise of turning blood into cancer drugs

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Wizard View Post
    I'm not sure they ever reached a definitive reason for the deaths. As I recall, though, the younger people had an over-abundance of killer T-cells, which eventually overburdened their lungs and killed them. Older people with less strong systems did not suffer this fate.
    Perhaps I can help answer, (or further confuse) that question. My maternal grandparents left the U.S. before WW1 with 3 of 4 children, (the oldest, my uncle, remained behind), so that my grandfather could pursue a position with the Pfaff Sewing Machine Co. as a foreign rep in the Ukraine. My mom (the 5th sibling) was born there in the Ukraine in 1917, and 3 years later, her father and 3 older siblings died there of the flu of the time, which I suspect was that same Spanish flu. So her surviving mom and 3 Y.O. daughter, (my mom) relocated to the Baltic state of Latvia where my grandmother took a job managing a railroad stop-over hotel on the Lithuanan border, and both in good health (go figure???) until grandma succumbed to a stroke appx 15 years later just before WW2.
    Last edited by grulla; 07-15-17 at 09:22 AM.

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