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Darth Avlectus 08-10-2011 09:24 PM

Leukemia Breakthrough

The article
Cancer Killing Breakthrough with Leukemia May Lead to Gene Attacks on Other Cancers

‘Within three weeks, the tumors had been blown away’ - Watch Video

Aug. 10, 2011 - In a cancer treatment breakthrough 20 years in the making, researchers have shown sustained remissions of up to a year among a small group of advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells, according to the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center and Perelman School of Medicine. The medical team reports the cancer-killing cells are still active.

The protocol, which involves removing patients' cells and modifying them in Penn's vaccine production facility, then infusing the new cells back into the patient's body following chemotherapy, provides a tumor-attack roadmap for the treatment of other cancers, including those of the lung and ovaries and myeloma and melanoma.
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I am of a mixed reaction, albeit netting an overall joyous one. I'm glad we have made a success here and that it may potentially lead to breakthroughs in other areas.

At the same time this seems so deceptively simple...there has GOT to be more to it. You're telling me that it's as simple as modifying a patient's white blood cells, reprogramming them and injecting them back into the patient? I'm sure there had to be some significant work done to this end to even get this far but it just seems so...un-complicated. Perhaps I'm just used to so many real solutions and answers not being straightforward.

In any case I am glad that this breakthrough has come to fruition. Hopefully more good news will result--like another step or two in finding those elusive cures for cancer!

purifier 08-14-2011 01:20 AM

^Interesting. And your right, it's inconceivable that the solution would be something so simple as that, I'll bet there is more to it.

My question is, is why do they still need to do the chemotherapy, after they've infused the new cells back into the body? Don't the cancer-killing cells do the job on their own?

Liverandbacon 08-15-2011 06:23 AM


Originally Posted by GTA:SWcity (Post 2787905)
You're telling me that it's as simple as modifying a patient's white blood cells, reprogramming them and injecting them back into the patient?

I reckon the 'reprogramming them' bit is quite complicated.

Darth Avlectus 08-15-2011 09:11 PM


Originally Posted by Liverandbacon (Post 2788266)
I reckon the 'reprogramming them' bit is quite complicated.

I suppose I oversimplified things with such a to-the-point phrase. :p While reprogramming human cells is probably thousands of times more complex than that of integrated circuits and the like, it probably would have to have more than a few fundamental similarities if it works similarly.
Considering we can make programs to protect our computers from maverick programs and such (viruses and malware) so maybe a biological system isn't too far out of the realm.

It's my understanding that we've had "cybernetic" cells since the 90's (for experimentation in combatting HIV/AIDS). Dumbfounded, I just sort of figured the process would be, y'know, more involved than this relative to its complexity.

To be a realist, cancer is an evolving thing and I'm afraid there will always be some mystery. Guess we need to keep our cells "up to date". :xp:

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