Can Your Body Be Trained to Cure Its Own Cancer?

Can Your Body Be Trained to Cure Its Own Cancer?

Another one about immunotherapy:

For decades, cancer patients have been limited to a trio of treatment options. While surgery, chemotherapy and radiation have their effectiveness, they also have serious drawbacks that can compromise quality of life.

Continued research in the area of immunotherapy is uncovering its power to fight cancer naturally while preserving the body's healthy cells.

The exciting concept behind immunotherapy is that it uses the power of the body's own immune system to essentially treat itself. Unlike chemotherapy, the immune system is more adaptive and able to distinguish between healthy tissue and invaders such as cancer cells. Consider the example of childhood vaccines, which remain effective over time thanks to the immune system's memory.

One of the biggest breakthroughs came in a 2013 study conducted by Bristol-Myers Squibb. A group of 52 melanoma patients were treated with one approved and one experimental drug. Nearly one-third experienced rapid and deep tumor regression. As study leader Dr. Jedd Wolchok observed, "We have spent several decades in cancer research learning better ways to treat the tumor. Now we are learning how to treat the patient."

Dr. David Maloney has been working on targeted cancer therapies since he was a student at Stanford in the early 1980s. He is currently focused on a procedure wherein a patient is infused with his own T-cells that have been harvested and genetically re-engineered to become cancer-killing"drones". He cites the benefit of immunotherapy as a move away from a "one-size-fits-all" approach to customized treatments.

Article in The Atlantic: Can Doctors Teach the Body to Cure Cancer?

WOW, WOW, WOW. I was shocked to read this article in Ty Bolliger site (thetruthaboutcancer). His views on conventional cancer treatments are very controversial except this one:

10 Replies

  • In the second article by Ty Bollinger in the section "The Benefits of Immunotherapy" refers to the experiments conducted by Dr Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania. As the article correctly says, the trial was done several years ago on CLL patients that incidentally were out of options, so it was incredibly exciting news at the time. Consequently there are quite a few articles about CAR-T technology developments on this site:

    What Ty Bolliger's article doesn't go on to tell you is that:

    a) Early CAR-T therapy was personalised medicine to the extreme; each patient had to have his own T cells extracted, modified and re-injected, making it a very expensive therapy. There are quite a few research teams trying to automate the process or find ways to make the CAR-T cells more broadly acting than for just one individual - they somehow have to prevent rejection of the CAR-T cells by the patients.

    b) The CAR-T cells stayed active permanently, so the treated patients had virtually no B-lymphocytes, leaving them without a critical part of their immune system and hence needing to stay on IVIG transfusions for the rest of their lives. That's also very expensive.

    Despite these significant handicaps, this technology shows great promise of delivering a cure. Another reason we can continue to live in hope.


  • Ya... Rituxan, ofatumumab and Gazyva (obinutuzumab) are all immunotherapy in CLL. Rituxan has been used for years... unfortunately they are well targeted, but wipe out all B cells... both good and bad...

    CART19 T cells... there are a dozen companies with projects, but in CLL there are chemokine problems and patients need to be on IVIG monthly possibly for life...

    The big players are Novartis and Juno, then Kite...

    Certainly interesting but highly experimental at the moment...but cost is coming down, it is about $500,000 per patient at the moment. Might replace, high risk stem cell transplant, if they can get it right.

    Dr. Wierda from MD Anderson , he is heading a team looking at a target called ROR1...

    Dr. Carl June

  • And it might be argued that ibrutinib, as a BTK inhibitor, is a form of immunotherapy, perhaps?

  • Hi. Do immunoglobulin infusions fit into this?

  • If I understand your question correctly, yes. IVIG transfusions = IntraVenous immunoglobulin G (IgG) i.e. immunoglobulin infusions and that's what the CLL patients that were cured had to remain on for life.

    Normally B-cells turn into plasma cells which are our immunglobulin factories. The CAR-T cells do such a good job of hunting out and killing All B-cells, both good and cancerous, so that virtually no new immunoglobulins are produced. There'd be no purpose in those patients having vaccinations; they wouldn't work because the CAR-T cells would mop up any new B-cells that were generated from exposure to the vaccine.


  • Here is a very well done overview of various immunotherapies...

  • YES..........hope for all of us to use our own T cells to fight and kill the cancer. BRILLIANT.


  • Very interesting reading. Peggy

  • I am 28 days post infusion of CAR-T cells. Had most of the side effects but my bone marrow is beautiful and I feel great. It isn't for the faint of heart yet, but when you run out of options it's good to be handed something like this.

  • Canadagoose,

    Please post your experience with the Car-t transplant.

    I'm glad you are feeling better so soon. I've only read about it and not any patients have posted that I know of


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