Scientists have reported promising results following clinical trials. Image Credit: PD - John Keith
Clinical trials have shown that engineered 'memory t-cells' can act as a long-term cancer vaccine.
Scientists have revealed their latest weapon in the battle against cancer - a treatment that involves engineering immune cells that can boost the body's natural defenses and fight off the disease.
At a recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, researchers revealed that clinical trials involving this technique have produced 'extraordinary results'.
In one of the studies, 94% of patients with lymphoblastic leukaemia - some having only months to live - saw symptoms vanish entirely, while 80% of patients with other types of blood cancer also experienced substantial improvements with more than half of them reporting complete remission.
"This is unprecedented in medicine, to be honest, to get response rates in this range in these very advanced patients," said AAAS researcher Stanley Riddell.
On top of this the t-cells tend to stick around in the body afterwards and act as a sentry of sorts that prevents the cancer from returning for years, sometimes decades, afterwards.
While the results do sound promising it is important to remember that the treatment did not work for everyone and it is not a 'cure' as such - instead it is likely to eventually become an option for patients much in the same way as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are options today.
According to Riddell it is unknown when, or even if, the research will move beyond clinical trials however he did suggest that the team was "very close to some cellular product."
"I think immunotherapy has finally made it to a pillar of cancer therapy," he said.
Source: The Guardian | Comments (15)