Saturday, June 9, 2018

Immunotherapy approach wiped out advanced breast cancer patient's tumors

CT scans 14 months after treatment (right) 
show all tumors have disappeared. 
Image provided by National Cancer Institute
CANCER DIGEST – June 9, 2018 – Researchers at the National Cancer Institute used certain cells taken from a breast cancer patient’s immune cells to wipe out all tumors in a case of advanced disease that had spread to other parts of the body.

The patient with metastatic disease had undergone several other treatments, including chemotherapy and hormonal treatments that had not stopped her cancer from progressing.

The patient had been participating in an ongoing clinical trial of a variation on a treatment approach that uses immune system T cells that specifically target cell mutations specific to the patient’s cancer.

In this patient, the researchers, led by Dr. Steven Rosenberg, chief of the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, analyzed DNA and RNA from one of the patient’s tumors as well as normal tissue and found 62 mutations that were unique to her cancer.

Then they found T cells in her immune system that recognized four of the mutations, expanded those cells in the laboratory and infused them back into the patient along with another drug, called pembrolizumab, which blocks the tumor’s ability to inactivate the infused T cells.

The results published in the June 4, 2018 journal Nature Medicine were remarkable as all traces of cancer disappeared and have not returned after nearly 2 years. In addition, the researchers have seen similar results using the approach in patients with liver and colorectal cancer.

Dr. Rosenberg said the “big picture” is that this kind of treatment is not cancer-type specific.

“All cancers have mutations, and that’s what we’re attacking with this immunotherapy,” he said. “It is ironic that the very mutations that cause the cancer may prove to be the best targets to treat the cancer.”

No comments:

Post a Comment