It’s a world first. A patient with advanced breast cancer was completely cured with an experimental treatment.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda and the University of Richmond in the United States have developed an immunotherapy treatment that has been successful in overcoming a cancerous tumor.
Aged 49, the patient was in critical condition. Metastatic cancer had spread to other organs, including the liver. But thanks to this experimental treatment, she is totally cured.
It’s been two years since she’s fully recovered. The researchers were able to establish that this “highly personalized” treatment was very effective.
What is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a form of treatment that stimulates the immune system. Lymphocytes, the cells of the immune system, are taken in order to manipulate and re-implant them. The idea is to activate them to fight the tumor. This technique is already used in patients with cancers of the lung, prostate, cervix or blood.
This is the first time she has been so effective on aggressive breast cancer. “We are today on the cusp of a vast revolution, which will finally achieve the goal of targeting the plethora of mutations implied by cancer through immunotherapy,” explains Laszlo Radvanyi, researcher in oncology.
Other health scientists say this technique is highly personalized and complex. It may not be suitable for all patients.
But this major breakthrough will inevitably have a strong impact on cancer research. A new bearer of hope for all patients fighting the disease.