Giving Ourselves A Little Boost to Fight Cancer: Cell Therapy
New developments made in cancer research have opened new avenues of interest, namely cell therapy treatment. Under Dr. Carl June, new cancer treatments have seen great success. While now only effective against certain leukemia and lymphoma cases, Dr. June's new therapy has proved to be a momentous step in cancer treatment and the field of cell therapy.
Dr. June aims to present patients with enhanced versions of their own immune system, genetically engineering T-cells from patients to become "cancer cell serial killers," a single engineered T-cell being capable of killing up to 100,000 cancer cells. To date, the number of patients treated with cell therapy has only reached the hundreds, mainly due to the fact that the treatment process (outlined in the attached New York Times article) is developed for an individual, not a population. This, coupled with the limited range of cancers against which the treatment is efficient, may make it difficult to mainstream the treatment as a reliable option. Nevertheless, Dr. June and his team at the National Cancer Institute continue their work in cell therapy to make the treatment better and easier to use for the general populace.
If you're interested in reading more about this, here's a link to the NY Times article on it.