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Immunotherapy – What Is It and How Could It Save Our Lives?
Will we be able to fight cancer in our own bodies?
With the way that testing of immunotherapy is going, researchers have paved new ground by not only increasing the survival rate of cancer patients but watching some cases where the cancer has gone into remission, or has gone away completely on its own. The success rate of these tests has reached up to 94 percent. Scientists in the US have perfected a technique where they remove immune cells, but before they return them to the body to target the cancer cells they have been modified to find them and destroy them.
Most of these studies have shown huge success on patients who have little to lose. Their chances of surviving their existing cancer are slim to none. In some cases, the patients that were part of the study were only not expected to survive for two more months. As a result of the immunotherapy they found their symptoms gone for good.
In the most recent studies, Professor Stanly Riddell, who works directly with the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, found the T-cells, or immune cells, were removed and modified to be receptive to the molecules that attract cancer and then returned to the body.
The results have been coming along with extremely positive results. While some types of cancer are responding better than others, the fact is that many more cases are at least going into remission while others are showing no further symptoms of the cancer any longer.
With our immune system able to take on and target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone has always been a plus. It was the sneaky cancer cells that were able to avoid the immune system’s wrath while being able to keep growing the disease and avoiding its own demise. Being able to point out to the immune system cancer cells that may not appear to be cancerous will only help the immune system do its job better.
There is still much to do to consider immunotherapy a complete success. It only seems to be working on specific types of cancer and the side effects that were the result of some of the procedures must be further examined. Scientists are definitely on the right track and it won’t be long before our bodies are able to fight cancer within our own bodies.