Breakthrough Treatment Uses Patient’s Immune System to Fight Cancer

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Scientists have proposed a study with unanimous success as a new type of cancer treatment. The breakthrough? It uses the patient’s own immune system to fight off the disease.

The treatment will help patients like Emma Collins. Collins looks like a typical sixteen year old girl now, but less than three years ago she was dying of cancer. Another patient suffering from a battle with Leukemia is Kashaun Lawhown, seven years old. Both of them used the traditional cancer treatments of chemotherapy and radiation, but they weren’t working.

All of a sudden, a game changing cancer treatment that had only been experimental up until this point, utilizing the patient’s own immune system, gave both of them a second chance/

Dr. Stephan Grupp, a specialist in the treatment of Leukemia stated, “The immune system has developed over many, many billions of years to actually get rid of things that don’t belong in the body, cancer doesn’t belong there.

Grupp is the director of Immunotherapy at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where Kashaun and Emma took part in an experimental trial for the breakthrough treatment.

Grupp stated “We collect white blood cells from the patient— those include T-cells. Those T- cells then go to a specific place where they are manufactured; reprogrammed to actually be able to attack cancer cells.

These strengthened cells, now referred to as CAR-T cells are then put back into the body where they begin to multiply and fight off the disease. Another factor in the cells amazing possibility is its ability to stick around and fight a recurrence of the disease as well.

Just four days after Emma’s treatment there was no sign of her cancer. What’s even more amazing, she’s been in remission now for eighteen months. After many years of research, this treatment is finally seeing its rightful time in the spotlight.

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