Tags: Cancer | Cancer | immunology | colon | pancreatic

Immunotherapy Case 'Huge' Breakthrough for Deadly Cancers

Immunotherapy Case 'Huge' Breakthrough for Deadly Cancers

(Copyright Fotolia)

Thursday, 08 December 2016 03:33 PM

An immunotherapy treatment that appears to have saved the life of a woman with advanced cancer could hold the key to successfully treating thousands of patients with colon or pancreatic cancer.

A New York Times article details the case of Celine Ryan, 50, who was battling advanced colon cancer that had spread to her lungs before she underwent a clinical trial that used immune cells from her own body to combat the disease.

Her treatment, the first to successfully target a common cancer mutation that scientists have tried to attack for decades, worked. Now Ryan, while not considered cured, is cancer-free, the article says.

In the United States, about 95,000 cases of colon cancer and 39,000 cases of rectal cancer are expected in 2016, and 49,000 deaths from the two forms combined.

This mutation occurs in a gene called KRAS, which occurs in 30 to 50 percent of colon cancer cases.

In addition, the mutation occurs in all pancreatic cancer cases. Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease. About 53,000 cases of pancreatic cancer are expected in the U.S. this year, along with nearly 42,000 deaths.

An experiment on one patient cannot determine whether a treatment will be effective in others, but doctors said the results had the potential to help more people.

“It has huge implications,” Dr. Carl H. June, from the University of Pennsylvania, says in the article.

Still, he adds, the big question is whether this case is “one in a million, or something that can be replicated and built upon?”



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The successful treatment of a woman with advanced cancer may herald a breakthrough in treating colon and pancreatic cancer.
Cancer, immunology, colon, pancreatic
Thursday, 08 December 2016 03:33 PM
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