I will be attending an educational offering this week about a new cancer therapy, Cart T cells. It is a form of immunotherapy. I’d been interested in immuntherapy before, getting your body’s own immune system to destroy cancer. Cancer has a way of currently evading our immune system, so our immune system is not usually able to defeat cancer. The trials I’ve seen of immune therapies in the past have not been very successful.
Cart T cells are a form of immunotherapy that seems to be very successful in fighting certain blood cancers (not solid tumor cancers like ours). It is very effective against some leukemias and lymphomas (blood cancers). I am still learning, but what I have read is that white cells from the immune system are removed from the patient (blood is removed from the patient and the white cells are taken out of the blood and the rest of the blood is returned to the patient). These white cells that are removed are genetically altered to fight cancer, then are multiplied and returned to the patient. I read of a clinical trial in which 30 children with a form of leukemia who had failed all other treatments were treated with this immunotherapy. 27 of the 30 experienced complete and long lasting remissions. These were 27 children that would have likely died form their cancer. That is amazing!!! I’m hoping that since you are only returning the patient’s own blood cells to them that there are no side effects.
While this treatment currently would not help any of us with appendix cancer, they are working on advancing this therapy to work on solid tumors like ours. So maybe one day! It’s possible there would be a treatment that did not involve any chemotherapy or surgery to cure cancers.
Wouldn’t that be amazing!
I am attending the educational offering this Thursday evening. I’ll get back to you to let you know what I’ve learned!