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The immune system therapy shows wider promise against cancer


Atlanta (AP) – a treatment that helps the immune system fight off deadly type of blood cancer shows early signs of the Creator against some solid tumors, which gives hope that this approach can be extended to the more common types of cancer in the future.

The treatment, called the CAR-T-therapy involves genetically modifying some of the patient's own cells to help them recognize and attack the cancer. Richard Carlstrand of Long Key, Florida, had it over a year ago to mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the lining of the lungs.

"We were going into unknown territory" to try it, he said, but he shows no signs of cancer, and "I could not be happier."

results on their own and other cases Sunday at the American Association for Cancer Research conference in Atlanta were discussed.

The first CAR-T therapy was approved in 2017 for certain leukemias and lymphomas. After varies Laboratories, modified immune cells are returned to the patient through a drip, which puts them where the cancer is – in the blood.

But this approach does not work well when the cells have to travel far through the blood to reach the tumor in the lung, breast, colon, or elsewhere.

"Solid tumors are notorious for not giving the immune cells enter", and not enough can make it to have an effect, said Dr. Prasad Adusumilli of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Most concern is that proteins are hard tumor cells, these methods focus also on normal cells at lower levels, so that the treatment can damage them too.

Adusumilli helped develop the new CAR-T, to try to avoid these problems, and tested it on 19 patients with mesothelioma and two drugihov with light and breast cancer, respectively, which have spread to the lining of the chest. Approximately 150,000 patients in the US are faced with this situation every year.

The modified cells were injected directly into the chest, wherein the tumor. Genetic safety switch has been added so the medicine can be given to destroy the cells if they have harmed.

After therapy, the patient was able to have surgery and radiation, and has a successful 20 months without further treatment. Fifteen others were good enough to get started on a drug that raises a different immune system.

Eleven of the 15 have been studied long enough to report the results. Two of the signs of cancer disappear for about a year, although a later relapse. Six saw their tumors shrink. Three saw their cancer worsen.

There were no sur & # 39; oznyh side effects, although some patients had temporary low blood counts and fatigue.

Subsidies from the federal government and the funds paid for the work and larger studies are planned. Sloan Kettering is licensed for treatment in Otara Biotherapeutics and can get paid from it, as it can Adusumilli.

The second study examined the other CAR-T therapy in 10 adults and children with advanced Sark – the river, taking place in various soft tissue or bone. Unlike other CAR-Ts, which is usually given only once, this one was a few times, up to 15 in the case of one patient, if there are indications that helps.

"We are doing a large number of car-T cells, and then we freeze them, the one draw blood," and let them drip as needed, said Dr. Shoba Accumulation of Baylor College of Medicine in the X & # 39; Euston.

Two of 10 patients had all signs of cancer disappear, one for 17 months, and others for nearly three years, until now. Three others had their disease stabilized. Five worsened despite treatment.

Side effects were similar to other studies. Therapy appears to be safe, "and we have the first evidence that this treatment approach can help," said Nawal.

Several foundations and charities, paid for the work.

"These studies suggest that there may be a way forward in solid tumors" with CAR-T therapy, said Dr. Louis Weiner, director of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and one of the conference leaders. This may prospectively for certain types of cancer of the stomach, breast, colon, lung and other areas, he said.

Price & # 39 is a big problem – currently CAR-T therapy is about $ 400,000, but can be made much smaller than in research centers. Doctors say they hope that the price will go down to the more come on the market and find their way to wider use.


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Department of Health and Science, Associated Press receives support from the Department of Medicine Institute of X & # 39 Howard, Hughes for science education. AP is solely responsible for all materials.

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