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The Standard of Care is a little Long in the Tooth

For decades there has been only a few treatment options for cancer patients. The “standard of care” treatments typically include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

These treatments are effective if the cancer is caught early but not so much if it is discovered in the later stages of the disease. This is what we referred to in a previous post, There is Already a Cure for Cancer.

In that post, we posed the question why not focus on early detection if most cancers can be treated successfully if caught early?

But until that happens we will keep looking for better ways of treating advanced cancers than the current standard of care.

And a new therapy has recently been added to the mix and it is very promising.

Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is a revolutionary approach to cancer treatment that harnesses the power of the immune system to fight cancer cells. Unlike traditional treatments that directly target cancer cells, immunotherapy boosts the body’s natural defenses to recognize and destroy cancer cells more effectively.

Immunotherapy utilizes various techniques, such as monoclonal antibodies, immune checkpoint inhibitors, cancer vaccines, and adoptive cell transfer, to stimulate the immune system’s response. These treatments work by modulating or activating certain components of the immune system, allowing it to recognize cancer cells as foreign and eliminate them.

Immunotherapy has shown remarkable success in treating certain cancers, especially advanced or metastatic forms that may not respond well to traditional therapies. It has significantly improved outcomes for patients with melanoma, lung cancer, kidney cancer, and certain types of blood cancers.

While immunotherapy has demonstrated significant benefits, it may not be suitable for all cancer patients. Its efficacy varies depending on the cancer type, stage, and individual patient factors. Ongoing research and clinical trials continue to refine and expand the use of immunotherapy in different cancer subtypes, aiming to provide more effective and personalized treatment options for patients in the future.

Super Killer T-Cells

In a recently published study, researchers from Cardiff University have discovered a new type of immune cell, called super killer T-cells, in patients that have successfully beaten cancer.

Cell.com Dolton, Ruis, et al

These T-cells are different from other (non-super) killer T-cells as they can attack multiple cancer targets simultaneously, preventing the formation of new tumors for up to a year.

This discovery could lead to more effective cancer therapies. The researchers used phase I and II clinical trials to investigate the differences between successful and unsuccessful rounds of treatment in different patients.

They found that the T-cells of cancer survivors were able to recognize multiple protein changes in cancer cells, unlike traditional T-cells that tend to target one protein at a time. The team believes that these multipronged T-cells could be used to treat a wide range of cancers in the future.

Further research is needed to definitively confirm the link between these T-cells and cancer clearance.

Read the study > Targeting of multiple tumor-associated antigens by individual T cell receptors during successful cancer immunotherapy

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