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According to the Guardian, a woman who was given three years to live, due to advanced stage breast cancer, was “cured” thanks to an experimental new therapy.
After several rounds of chemotherapy failed to keep the cancer from spreading to the rest of her body, Judy Perkins, a 52-year-old engineer and mother-of-two from Florida, was enrolled at the US National Cancer Institute for a new kind of immunotherapy.
“My condition deteriorated a lot towards the end, and I had a tumor pressing on a nerve, which meant I spent my time trying not to move at all to avoid pain shooting down my arm,” Perkins told The Guardian. “I had given up fighting.”
This new immunotherapy technology uses the patient’s own immune cells to find and destroy cancer cells that have formed in the body.
Doctors who cared for the woman at the US National Cancer Institute in Maryland said Perkins’s response had been “remarkable”: the therapy wiped out cancer cells so effectively that she has now been free of the disease for two years.
The dramatic success has raised hopes that the therapy will work in more patients with advanced breast cancer and other difficult to treat cancers, such as ovarian and prostate. Researchers are now planning full scale clinical trials to assess how effective the treatment could be.“We are now at the cusp of a major revolution in finally realising the elusive goal of being able to target the plethora of mutations in cancer through immunotherapy,” Radvanyi said.
The researcher warn, however, that the new treatment is at its beginning stages and so far it was used only on Ms. Perkins, and it still needs more clinical trials.
Photo Credit: Pablo Heimplatz