The deadly cancer Lymphoma may have finally found its match. That’s the census at King’s College Hospital in London where some patients have been completely cured of the disease thanks to a new therapy that is tailor-made for each patient using their own body’s cells.
The therapy, called CAR-T, works by extracting a blood sample from a patient and removing the white blood cells from that sample. Those white cells are then frozen in liquid nitrogen and genetically reprogramed so that rather than killing bacteria and viruses, they will seek out and destroy cancer. They are now “chimeric antigen receptor T-cells” – or CAR-T cells. After a month’s time, millions of modified cells are grown in a lab and they are injected into the patient where they operate in the body for a long time and eliminate cancer cells.
In clinical studies, 40 percent of all patients had all signs of their otherwise untreatable, terminal lymphoma eliminated from their body 15 months after treatment. This is a huge deal.
Of course, we must be cautiously optimistic when viewing such results. Further studies will surely have to be taken, and beyond this, we aren’t sure how high the cost of this treatment will wind up being. But at the very least, it’s incredible to know scientists are finding ways to use a patient’s blood cells to overcome cancer that has long been deemed untreatable.