Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cancer Resistance Technique Moves To Human Trials

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the of-men-and-mice dept.

Medicine 168

TaeKwonDood tips us to news that a new cancer resistance treatment is going into clinical trials after being quite successful at eradicating cancer in mice. Researchers discovered that certain white blood cells called granulocytes from cancer-immune mice were able to cure cancer in other mice. Now, doctors are putting out the call for healthy granulocyte donors in order to test how well it works on humans. The article quotes lead researcher Zheng Cui saying, "In mice, we've been able to eradicate even highly aggressive forms of malignancy with extremely large tumors. Hopefully, we will see the same results in humans. Our laboratory studies indicate that this cancer-fighting ability is even stronger in healthy humans."

cancel ×

168 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Cool! (0, Troll)

Serenissima (1210562) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991037)

Now that we've seen yet another way to fight against cancer, we'll just watch it fade into obscurity as if it were really just a post on /.'s frontpage. Have any of these medical breakthroughs actually born fruit? Have any become tenable?

Re:Cool! (5, Insightful)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991175)

Progress is slow when new medicine is constantly under attack and being made...

illegal: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/19/AR2006071900524.html [washingtonpost.com]
'sinful': http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7287071.stm [bbc.co.uk]
and unteachable: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080627-louisiana-passes-first-antievolution-academic-freedom-law.html [arstechnica.com]

Re:Cool! (1)

WelcomeOurOverlords (1309475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992107)

Judging by your username, I *never* would have thought you would hold such a position... Oh, and I for one welcome our new cancer-free mouse overlords.

Re:Cool! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23992441)

If you were smart enough to read, instead of just repeating the left's propaganda, you'd know that no cures for ANYTHING have been found using embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are now responsible for curing over 100 conditions.

And did you know that there was absolutely NO Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research BEFORE Bush? You act as if he cut off funding that was already there! Bullshit.

Bush was right; you were wrong . . . . . again. :p

Re:Cool! (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991481)

If you are diagnosed with cancer today -- any kind of cancer, and remember the word "cancer" covers an enormous range of disease -- your chances of long-term survival are much, much better than they were five years ago. Five years ago, your chances were much better than ten years ago. Etc. The general public loses interest when a promising new treatment turns out not to be The! Cure! For! Cancer!, but yes, research does make its way from the lab to the bedside. Probably no new medicine or treatment technique will ever cure all cancer, but there's a good chance it will take care of a significant portion of a certain type of cancers -- which is, of course, of infinite interest to those diagnosed with that particular disease.

Re:Cool! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991501)

that sounds like something a jew would say. are you a jew? because you sound like a jew.

Re:Cool! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991791)

that sounds like something an asshole would say. are you an asshole? because you sound like an asshole.

Re:Cool! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23992139)

sounding like a jew is better then looking like a nigger (you). A jew can learn to talk like the niggers but a nigger can never get the shit stains on his skin out to look like a jew. I've tried soaking some of the homeless in bleach for days at a time - it doesn't fucking come out. and before you bring up michael jackson - my son tells me he's not white everywhere.

Re:Cool! (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991511)

Oops. My reply was supposed to be to GPP. It is entirely true, of course, that religious objections slow scientific progress in this and many other medical and biological fields. But demand is high enough that in the long run, the research will get done and the medicines will be made available. No way of knowing how much unnecessary suffering and death people will endure in the meantime, of course, because some idiot priest or politician values their own chosen mythology over human life.

Re:Cool! (4, Insightful)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992021)

I'm pretty sure that orthodox Jews have lightened up on the blood prohibition, there are probably a few sects there that wouldn't partake, Witnesses will not like it and a few other radical fringe cults. Of course when the whacko extremists are the only ones still dieing of cancers it'll be because of a gov conspiracy to kill them off.

Re:Cool! (4, Interesting)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991997)

If you are diagnosed with cancer today -- any kind of cancer, and remember the word "cancer" covers an enormous range of disease -- your chances of long-term survival are much, much better than they were five years ago. Five years ago, your chances were much better than ten years ago. Etc. The general public loses interest when a promising new treatment turns out not to be The! Cure! For! Cancer!, but yes, research does make its way from the lab to the bedside. Probably no new medicine or treatment technique will ever cure all cancer, but there's a good chance it will take care of a significant portion of a certain type of cancers -- which is, of course, of infinite interest to those diagnosed with that particular disease.

Supporting evidence of how far we've come:

Every single person I have personally known that has had cancer (several people), was able to take care of the issue. This amazed me because in all cases I had the 1990s based feeling that cancer = death. I am slowly coming to realize that unless a person finds out way way late, their chances are pretty good nowadays.

I've heard of others that have died from cancer, but nobody I personally knew, and definitely not as frequent as the successes that must be happening.

Re:Cool! (4, Interesting)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992119)

"If you are diagnosed with cancer today -- any kind of cancer, and remember the word "cancer" covers an enormous range of disease -- your chances of long-term survival are much, much better than they were five years ago. Five years ago your chances were much better than ten years ago."

This is exactly what I told my father when he was diagnosed 2 years ago w/ stage 3 lymphoma. He's still around and doing well thanks to the hard work of these researchers.

Re:Cool! (1)

drspliff (652992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993883)

My mother wasn't so fortunate; I do wonder though if she'd been diagnosed 5 years later if she would've survived. The first round of chemotherapy didn't quite work, during the second she told me "fuck it I cant take it anymore" and passed a few days after :(

Anything less intensive, painful and stressful than chemotherapy is a good thing IMO, even if this new method isn't too effective on aggressive cancers there's still hope that it can be applied for more general cases and help people live normal lives instead of being stereotypical "cancer patients".

Re:Cool! (1)

Giometrix (932993) | more than 6 years ago | (#23994163)

"Anything less intensive, painful and stressful than chemotherapy is a good thing IMO, even if this new method isn't too effective on aggressive cancers there's still hope that it can be applied for more general cases and help people live normal lives instead of being stereotypical "cancer patients"."

Indeed; I think my father fared well because chemo didn't make him sick as it makes others, so he was able to take in more chemo for a longer time, allowing it to kill more of the cancer.

Re:Cool! (2)

Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991923)

Now that we've seen yet another way to fight against cancer, we'll just watch it fade into obscurity as if it were really just a post on /.'s frontpage. Have any of these medical breakthroughs actually born fruit? Have any become tenable?

Since the 1960s, survival rates in some cancers have gone from 90%. Is that tenable enough? Simple lumpectomy has a 30-40% cure rate for breast cancer ... add some radiation or short chemo and it's up to 80+%. Is that tenable enough.

This clinical trial is a scary one, and it's small for a reason. The granulocytes might turn on the recipient and kill them.

Yes - tremendous headway has occured. (5, Interesting)

spineboy (22918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992155)

Recently, several people, in clinical trials, have been cured!! from metastatic (widespread) malignant melanoma - which is usually a 1-2 year death sentence after it has metastasized.

Many childhood leukemias have a 80% survival rate, whereas 30 years ago it was a 80% death rate.

Osteogenic and Ewings sarcoma (primary bone cancers) now has an 80% 5 year survival rate, 20 years ago it was a 20% 5 year survival rate. Now, 90-95% of the kids I operate on now get to keep their arms and legs with artificial bones. 30 years ago, they mostly had amputations.

Much of the advances have been from improved detection (MRI/CT/PET scans), and newer chemotherapies - ALL which have been based on animal research (F U PETA!)

Many scientists and MDs feel that immuno-therapy (using the bodies own immune system to fight/kill the cancer) will be the most fruitful research, and probably the most successful in the long run.

7500 ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991049)

not to cure cancer in humans; just mice.

Seems like mice have the one-up.

Re:7500 ways (1)

Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991255)

Douglas Adams would approve of your hypothesis

Re:7500 ways (1)

Zosden (1303873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991293)

Considering cancer is the number 2 killer in America hopefully we are getting closer to finding cures. There won't likely be one cure.

Re:7500 ways (-1, Troll)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993957)

NO! Cancer is just a SYMPTOM of the things that are the (hidden) killers.
Like the trash you put in and around yourself.

It's a common mistake that even gets teached in medical schools. The worse kind is people saying "oh, my organ X is the cause...". NO! It's not! It could be a genetic error (e.g. trough radiation or your parents putting trish in or around them), or it can be one of those things causing your organ to fail.

My personal guess is the mix of unnatural chemicals that the body can't handle, but that's used by the industry because you have to buy el-cheapo products, because you're in a constant struggle to survive. This again is not only the natural struggle but an additional system, made to make us all debtors (especially the government), and to gain power.

I say get the power back! But nobody wants to walk the walk to the government and say "you're out! go, or we make you go!", because they fell for the trap of lazy stupidity created by the combination of bad food (e.g. sugars) and bad education.

It's all a nice system to keep you out of control, and them in control.
I gave up on changing the world, so now I'm trying to become one of "them"... MUHAHAHAHAHAAA :P

P.S.: In cinemas July, 4th!

Fast-Track Immunization? (5, Interesting)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991079)

This strikes me as a kind of fast-track immunization, i.e. getting the relevant antibodies into a person's immune system quickly before an infection can take hold. Rather than having to spend time developing the relevant treatment, simply borrow from another human who already has the necessary lymphocytes. Nice!

I'm aware of the correlation between infection and various cancers - I had Hodgkins Lymphoma a few years ago myself.

Re:Fast-Track Immunization? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991265)

Why does that sound so... Open Source?

Re:Fast-Track Immunization? (1)

BungaDunga (801391) | more than 6 years ago | (#23994111)

You can do this with HIV, too, sort of. I think it's immune globulin, that (in theory) if you take fast enough after exposure it'll alert your immune system and it will clobber the virus before it infiltrates your cells. It would mostly be useful for medics and people exposed to blood.

Super Race of Granulocyte+ Smokers (4, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991083)

How do I get tested for whether I've got the granulocyte cancer immunity? I've always wanted to take up smoking. If I could sell my granulocytes, I'd afford to buy a carton of cigarettes.

Emphysema != Lung Cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991471)

[Doc Ruby [slashdot.org] wrote]How do I get tested for whether I've got the granulocyte cancer immunity? I've always wanted to take up smoking. If I could sell my granulocytes, I'd afford to buy a carton of cigarettes

Emphysema is not lung cancer.

It's a slow suffocating death.

Have fun dying! (Darwin Evolution at work.)

Re:Emphysema != Lung Cancer (1)

whyareallthenamestak (892876) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991675)

[Doc Ruby [slashdot.org] wrote]How do I get tested for whether I've got the granulocyte cancer immunity? I've always wanted to take up smoking. If I could sell my granulocytes, I'd afford to buy a carton of cigarettes

Emphysema is not lung cancer.

It's a slow suffocating death.

Have fun dying! (Darwin Evolution at work.)

Dying from emphysema when you're old is not Darwinian! Most people would have passed on their genes by that point.

Re:Emphysema != Lung Cancer (1)

bigtrike (904535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992987)

An elderly person may still be able to further protect their genes by taking care of their grandchildren, giving them a higher probability of reproduction.

A Heartwarming film about a group of plucky (5, Funny)

Icarus1919 (802533) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991111)

...young scientists, who discover that the real cure for cancer was inside of them all along!

Re:A Heartwarming film about a group of plucky (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991225)

who discover that the real cure for cancer was inside of them all along!

So it's a movie about cannibalism then?

Naah... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992157)

Sounds more like porn to me.

Re:Naah... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993965)

Everything sounds like porn to you...

resistance to nazi hypenosys technique developed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991159)

the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

Re:resistance to nazi hypenosys technique develope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991295)

Now that there is some good old fashioned incomprehensible net babble.

Granulocytes, (2, Interesting)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991377)

The new plasma. Pay $20 bucks per donation and winos everywhere will be happy to donate, so long as they have the right granulocytes.

Re:Granulocytes, (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991813)

Unfortunately I don't think this will happen. With a discovery of this magnitude, the government will surely regulate it. Markets for blood & organs should be opened up so people can buy and sell them instead of having to rely on donors. What right does the government have of preventing me from selling one of my kidneys or similar?

Re:Granulocytes, (1)

Grave (8234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991967)

The insurance companies will see to it that such a thing never happens, because it would drive costs up way too high.

Re:Granulocytes, (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992057)

No right, but no reputable MD. will participate either.

I am Legend in 3, 2, ... (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991415)

Obviously

This might be a controversial POV... (0, Troll)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991417)

...but I think that cancer is likely to be triggered by some psychological conditions. The last time I was stating that the state of one's health reflects the state of one's mind, people were laughing at me, but I really observe that many people that I know / heard of, and who suffer/died from cancer, have had some certain problems. Mainly it were: unwillingness to forgive someone something they've done long time ago; unwillingness to accept the current state of something over a longer period of time; perceived loneliness.

Well, it might not be the *only* cause, but certainly the psychological aspect should never be underestimated when dealing with *any* illness.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991479)

what a nutter

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

ImperiousCaesar (1191029) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991491)

Honestly, a lot of humans have those problems to begin with; I really don't think it contributes to the cancer in almost any cases, it just contributes to the way in which they deal with the cancer. Also, as long as we're going with anecdotal evidence, I've also known boisterous and accepting people with cancer. :)

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (4, Insightful)

lastchance_000 (847415) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991497)

Well, you've just described 90% of the human race. I guess we're all screwed.

Joking aside, it's an interesting hypothesis. I certainly wouldn't rule out someone's mental state in regard to survivability. Not so sure about it as a causal factor, though I suppose long-term stress could contribute to weaker systems. I'd love to see a proper study done.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (3, Insightful)

niloroth (462586) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991787)

Please keep in mind that while positive attitude certainly doesn't seem to hurt your chances with cancer, it also really doesn't seem to help at all. Source. [medicinenet.com]

And what the parent post is referring to seems very very far outside the pale as far as any info we have on the causes of cancer. It to me even seems to be a bit of blaming the victim for the disease.

Attitudes like that will not help in any way to actually progress our attempts to cure cancer. Science, like the topic of this thread, hopefully will. That is assuming that this turns out to work. Lets hope.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1, Interesting)

werewolf1031 (869837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992495)

It to me even seems to be a bit of blaming the victim for the disease.

Blaming the victim? Well let's see here... To use a much more obvious and practical example, if someone fails to take care of their teeth, and said teeth proceed to rot out of their sockets, is it the "victim's" fault? Yes! Someone sits on their ass and eats junk food for years on end and winds up morbidly obese and possibly acquires heart conditions as a result, should we "blame the victim"? Yes!

Not saying I'm convinced of GP's speculations about mental health affecting cancer onset, but yes, people's actions and behaviors drastically affect their own health and yes, in some cases, it is their own fault.

So let's suppose for the sake of argument that in time research shows a definite causal link between cancer and mental state. That would not be "blaming the victim", it'd be simple cause and effect. Obviously this would be much less obvious an effect than the more commonly known results of not taking care of one's teeth, or not getting proper exercise and eating all the wrong foods, but once the information is known, it'd be up to the individual to do something about the problem as a form of prevention.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993305)

Except that the post you are replying to includes a reference that a person's attitude does not effect cancer survival.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991499)

perhaps every person in the world sometimes has some (or all) of: unwillingness to forgive someone something they've done long time ago; unwillingness to accept the current state of something over a longer period of time; perceived loneliness , so that one (even if true) would not help much.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991533)

Perhaps those same people also have an aversion to doctors and getting new symptoms looked at an early stage where something might be treatable. Or perhaps the psychological condition and the cancer are both results of some DNA switch thats been flipped.

I can't really think of a nice way to say the idea that psychological conditions can give you cancer is idiotic (At least with the anecdotal evidence you just presented).

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991717)

To the degree that the immune system responds to psychological conditions, I'm willing to agree. Though, I would argue that state of mind is a contributory, vice causal factor. A positive state of mind appears to elevate immune system response which aids healing. A negative state of mind appears to depress the immune system which impairs healing. In fact, we may one day discover that most types of cancer have a viral causation with a multitude of contributing factors, of which state of mind will be significant -- in that we can directly influence it -- but not unique.

Quack quack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991905)

Sorry but that is such obvious junk "science" that it had to be said. You don't think that the thousands (tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands?) of cancer studies performed worldwide on people of every race, color, creed, history, age group, life circumstance etc. wouldn't have picked it up? Or what about the similarly numerous large controlled studies with millions with animals?

Anyway you must be an American (I am guilty by association), to have such a poor understanding of how medical science works.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (5, Informative)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992013)

Not to be rude but you, good sir, are talking out of your ass. My brother was 14 when he died of pancreatic cancer. He wasn't suffering from "psychological conditions," he wasn't "unwilling to forgive someone" for some imaginary event that caused his body to somehow psychosomatically create the cancer that killed him. You want to know what I think caused his cancer? I think it was Doe Run [wikipedia.org] and Dow Chemical polluting the crap [scorecard.org] out of the everything around them [sierraclub.org] . We lived in Herculaneum, MO for the first 10 years of his life, and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if that was the cause. Your touchy-feely approach on this smacks of New Age "science" with nothing to back it up. "Oh it was their own feelings that did it!" Right. I suppose next you're going to start telling people that Thetans are causing all the world's ills.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (3, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992391)

Well blaming Doe Run and Dow Chemical is almost* as irrational. You have no reason to suspect it wasn't natural.

* Okay the GP is in a whole other league of irrationality, but you're being somewhat irrational at least.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (4, Interesting)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992525)

Admittedly I do have a somewhat emotional involvement in the situation (I suppose according to the GP's logic I should worried about cancer myself now :-P), but there is evidence that the amount of pollution these companies produce can and do seriously affect the health of individuals who live around them. I provided the links as an illustration of this, so you may want to go back and follow them. I'll even provide you with another [planetark.com] , just to drive home my point. As far as having no reason to suspect it wasn't natural, you can't seriously ask me to believe that lead levels like that are normal. Why do you think they don't use lead paint anymore? There is far, far more evidence pointing to pollution causing (some, not all) cancer than there is for any kind of traumatic psychological events that the GP is blathering about.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (0)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993999)

Lead does not cause cancer. Your idea that pollution may have contributed to his cancer is reasonable, but you need to look for pollution in the form of carcinogens.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992899)

As someone pointed out yesterday in another thread: One datapoint does not nullify a generalization. It's been known for years that people who are lonely and/or stressed have higher incidences of cancer than those who are not.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

SirLurksAlot (1169039) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992975)

One datapoint does not nullify a generalization.

Yes, because we all know how accurate generalizations tend to be.

It's been known for years that people who are lonely and/or stressed have higher incidences of cancer than those who are not.

Care to provide a link to a study or any kind of scientific evidence to back up this statement?

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

BungaDunga (801391) | more than 6 years ago | (#23994167)

[Citation needed]

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (4, Interesting)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992059)

...but I think that cancer is likely to be triggered by some psychological conditions. Well, it might not be the *only* cause, but certainly the psychological aspect should never be underestimated when dealing with *any* illness.

Depression is certainly associated with increased mortality. There have been studies linking psychological states to subsequent cancer incidence, but their findings have been mixed.

The negative physical effects of perceived loneliness has had almost no attention in the scientific literature (as opposed to clinical depression, which gets a lot). I know this because I've recently been looking as part of my own research programme. I'm planning a study of the adverse effects of loneliness in the elderly, and I'm hoping to be able to separate the effects of loneliness and depression caused by neuronal changes, which is surprisingly hard in the clinical setting.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992137)

Excess stress drags down the immune system and very conceivably contribute to the effect, but I'd also guess that the effect is more likely to clump illnesses that would have occurred eventually and randomly toward identifiable events rather than change the occurrence rates in a given population over a given period. Get a grant and do a study, results might be interesting, might even be able to re-examine previous data to find new trends that were not looked for previously.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23992313)

While not exactly what you are talking about, a psychology study found no connection between a positive attitude and survival rates among a sample of patients with head and neck cancers: Article [apa.org]

That's not to say attitude is unimportant in general. It does affect quality of life, which is important to enjoying whatever time you have left. It just doesn't determine how much time you get.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

LEMONedIScream (1111839) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992315)

I'm not so sure if it is possible to be triggered by psychological conditions.

Cancer itself is a cell that has avoided programmed death from the body. In most cases the cells die and are replaced by newer ones once they have become irreparably damaged.

Even then these cells can be separated into malignant and benign tumours. The former spreads and is when you have a problem. The latter doesn't continue to grow and is often just a mole on the skin.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

papershark (1181249) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992355)

i remember over 15 years ago they did a documentary about the staff of scientists that worked at Chernobyl. They would regularly go down into the burnt our plant... really quite close to the core and really pressing their luck with the amount of exposure to radiation. recently there was a catch up documentary... and there was some expectation that a above average amount would have had or died of cancer. Interestingly it far higher average of heart attacks that was commonly excepted to have been induced the every day high stress of knowing that you are walking a razors edge with radiation. I don't think that any doctor doubts the causative link between stress and disease, but i think stress has greater impact your heart rather than cell division. of course this is a matter of effected odds, any one who says that you can stop cancer with positive thinking is just a nut.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992371)

Stress and anxiety can certainly depress the immune system, and it's recently come to light that the immune system in some healthy adults has some non-zero chance of killing off very early-stage cancers. In addition, stress and anxiety are often linked with sedentary lifestyles, and exercise has been shown to actually change which genes are expressed and help fight all sorts of maladies.

So yeah, live a healthy life-- mentally and physically-- and you probably reduce your chances of being diagnosed with cancer. But I still highly doubt the direct causal relationship between bad thought and cancer.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23992373)

The last time I was stating that the state of one's health reflects the state of one's mind, people were laughing at me, but I really observe that many people that I know / heard of, and who suffer/died from cancer, have had some certain problems. Mainly it were: unwillingness to forgive someone something they've done long time ago; unwillingness to accept the current state of something over a longer period of time; perceived loneliness.

Yes. And I have furthermore noticed that people who get cancer tend to be chronic masturbators. [wikipedia.org]

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23992445)

first off;

look up confirmation bias

secondly, sicck people are irritable. these people could have been sicker longer than you think

lastly, mental health and a good lifestyle help a lot of things but the lack of doesn't cause cancer. if so all crazy people would have it

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

eriks (31863) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992587)

You've got a lot of company with that POV... I think a lot of people don't express it, for the reason you mention: ridicule.

I too am aware of anecdotal evidence that cancer has a correlation to the sufferer feeling deeply "wrong" (or wronged), and even cases of remission where the feeling of wrongness is overcome.

Unfortunately, I don't think we'll see conclusive, repeatable studies on this subject without some methodological compromises, since "mental state" and "emotional state" will always have a subjective component that is difficult to quantify, though perhaps "qualitative" treatment of the subject might be of use, someday.

That aside, this is a promising development for cancer treatment. I wonder what the effect of simply having a person with strong "immunity" to cancer spend time (perhaps counseling) someone with cancer might do... particularly alongside medical therapies, especially something like this new treatment.

I also wonder if there might be a relation between this and how some dogs can "smell" cancer.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23993265)

It is very widely known that a mentally ill (eg. depressed) person has a weakened immune system because of the illness.

Re:This might be a controversial POV... (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993935)

Please read about confirmation bias [wikipedia.org] until you realize why your anecdotal ad-hoc observations are essentially useless.

Enough (2, Insightful)

SilverBlade2k (1005695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991441)

Enough of this "We found a cure! We're headed to trials!" crap. We've seen this for the past 20 years, yet NONE of these 'cures' are actually used on a daily basis. Either put up, or shut up.

Re:Enough (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991521)

So, if you're diagnosed with cancer tomorrow, will you restrict yourself to treatments that were available twenty years ago, then? Somehow I kind of doubt that.

Re:Enough (4, Insightful)

NIckGorton (974753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991621)

Enough of this "We found a cure! We're headed to trials!" crap. We've seen this for the past 20 years, yet NONE of these 'cures' are actually used on a daily basis. Either put up, or shut up.

OK, sure. Have a look at the Kaplan-Meier curves for survival for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia in children. In the 60's your child's chance of long term cancer free survival was less than 10%. Today, your child's chance of long term cancer free survival is in the 90% range. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/support_cancer_research_now.php [scienceblogs.com] Orignial article: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/354/2/166 [nejm.org]

While big leaps and bounds are great. The progress in cancer treatment and research is made through slow and consistent work at the same problem. More power to these people. But each one of these 'we're headed to trials' announcements is one grain of sand - possibly a big one - working toward grinding the machine to a halt.

Re:Enough (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992067)

So you read up on slashdot why? For the star wars jokes?

Re:Enough (4, Insightful)

Herger (48454) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993129)

In the past 20 years, we saw a number of surgical and radiologic techniques reach clinical use. When I was doing cancer research, I worked on projects using Gleevec and Zolinza, both now FDA approved. However, both of these drugs currently have very narrow uses; Gleevec is only effective against CML, for example, and Zolinza [aka vorinostat or SAHA] is currently only approved for certain types of leukemia.

I am skeptical of anyone who says they have any 100% Cure For Cancer. As other posters have noted, cancer describes a single overall pathology, uncontrolled growth of cells, that breaks down into many subtypes based on tissue type and further based on the underlying genetic fault. Immunology, in particular, is guilty of following trends (so it's granulocytes this week, huh guys? Have you given up on Tregs, vaccines, etc.?) and pushing for the ultimate single cure.

While it's true that cancer is a disease of the old, and it's increasingly well known that the composition of immune cells changes as you age, I suspect that someone would have noticed by now if it was as simple as transplanting granulocytes. How about a retrospective study of blood transfusion recipients? Shouldn't this population, on average, have a lower incidence of cancer relative to a comparable control population?

Re:Enough (1)

DigitalHammer (581235) | more than 6 years ago | (#23994159)

While it's true that cancer is a disease of the old, and it's increasingly well known that the composition of immune cells changes as you age, I suspect that someone would have noticed by now if it was as simple as transplanting granulocytes.

Perhaps its as "simple" as stopping aging? Heh. Then again...

We cured cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991507)

People tend to simplify. There is not one "cancer", but a huge family of different types, so it can be doubted that all of them will become curable at once. I'm quite sure the researcher talked about a very specific type of cancer he/she (didn't RTFA) wants to cure.

Sign me up! (5, Interesting)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991527)

Definitely glad to see this story. It's the first of a number of techniques to reach clinical trials that actually show real promise.

I don't qualify as a patient participant as I still respond to conventional therapy. Hopefully they'll still be conducting trials if that changes, or will have expanded them to include patients who are still being treated conventionally.

It'll definitely be interesting to see the results if they expand trials to include patients with aggressive tumors. The patient requirements, while not explicitly saying so, eliminate consideration of such patients. Once you no longer respond to therapy treating an aggressive cancer, the likelihood of having a > 6 month survival rating is basically nil (thus disqualifying you from the study). I can understand the rationale to not unnecessarily skew the initial trial results when they can get good data from patients with less aggressive cancers, but if/when the trials go after the fast killers it will definitely show the true potential of this particular cancer weapon.

Here's to hoping for positive results. The other nice thing about this therapy is that, since it is not drug-based, it is not locked up by one single pharmaceutical company. Hooray for open source medical therapies.

Re:Sign me up! (2, Interesting)

Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991883)

This is the FIRST trial of this in humans, and there is a chance that the granulocytes will kill the recipients. We aren't mice, and the first trials are always scary.

It's unethical to try this stuff on people who still respond to already tested therapy. If it doens't kill or harm anyone from the infusion of large numbers of WBC ... then they will expand the trials.

It's easy to get granulocytes out, although tedious for the donor. If this works, some of the solid tumor cancers could be suddenly treatible.

Re:Sign me up! (3, Informative)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992209)

I didn't claim that it should be tested initially in people currently responding to conventional therapy. I was merely saying that I hope I am able to apply for inclusion in the trials should A) my condition change to make me eligible or B) the eligibility requirements of later trials change to include me should my condition not change.

As for it being potentially harmful or fatal in human trials, the likelihood is much smaller than other first-run clinical trials. Granulocyte therapy is already used in humans to treat other conditions. The only differences in this regard are the targeted conditions and an increased quantity of granulocytes infused into the recipient.

Given the nature of the treatment, the only likely adverse reaction would be an immune response. I doubt that the increased infusion amounts are going to cause more immune responses than already-established granulocyte protocols. They'll probably have a statistically indistinguishable amount of adverse reactions, but obviously establishing that conclusively is one of the points of the trial.

Re:Sign me up! (2, Informative)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992811)

They used similar techniques for antibiotic resistant infection so the safety should be understood. Now its a matter of determining if the method's benefits out weight it's costs and risks.

Side Effects (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991605)

Side effects may include:
1) excessive hair growth
2) the irresistible urge to eat cheese
3) increased fertility

Lame humor (1)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991619)

>eradicate cancer in mice

Why would I want to eradicate cancer in mice?

You Started It... (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991733)

Why would I want to eradicate cancer in mice?

Because capricorn has already been eliminated and the mouse zodiac is completely out of balance, you insensitive clod.

Re:Lame humor (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992193)

Cause without mice - where would Disney be today?
No, I don't mean the freezer... I was thinking more along metaphorical lines.

Graft vs. Tumor effect (4, Informative)

Guppy (12314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991729)

In "Graft vs. Host" [wikipedia.org] there is a specific side-effect known as Graft-vs-Tumor. The effect has been known for some time, with the main problem being the lack of control over whether the transplanted immune cells attack both the tumor and/or the host, as GvH can result in serious or fatal reactions.

In this case, I see the info page for the study mentions that Granulocytes are known to attack tumors without causing GvH, which appears to be the novel part of this study. Let's hope they've got a really efficient method for depleting T-cells from the mix.

Re:Graft vs. Tumor effect (1)

brianf711 (873109) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992249)

I believe they don't need to deplete them, but can just irradiate them to prevent replication, or they could do both.

Re:Graft vs. Tumor effect (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992569)

Well, they just need to take blood from AIDS victims :)

Granulocyte Extinction (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991801)

I wonder if this treatment will go by the wayside in 100 years just like how redheads will be extinct in that time. Since more people are getting cancer than ever, I'd imagine the genes required for healthy granulocytes could be recessive.

Re:Granulocyte Extinction (1)

Laughing Pigeon (1166013) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992029)

The reason that more people than ever are getting cancer is because people get older than ever and cancer still is a disease of old people, though there are unfortunately also young people who get it. But the risk increases with age.

Re:Granulocyte Extinction (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992841)

Maybe by that time they'll be able to directly implant the gene viraly

Re:Granulocyte Extinction (1)

DeadChobi (740395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993507)

What do you mean by redheads going extinct in 100 years? Granted, I might not be around by then, but I'd like to know that at least one of my preferences in women isn't going to disappear before I'm dead.

Cure for Cancer (1)

RobinH (124750) | more than 6 years ago | (#23991825)

If this works, I think it's great.

But also interesting is what would happen to the cancer fundraising industry if all of a sudden all the newspapers' front page headline was, "Cancer Cured". My wife works at the hospital, and she sees that the amount of money that comes into the hospital from charities that raise enormous amounts of money to "fight cancer" is unbelievable. Everyone in the cancer unit gets new computers every year, has all the best equipment, etc., while the units right next to them, also treating terminally ill patients are still running Windows 95 and have waiting lists months or years long.

If you look at cancer survival rates now (in most part because of all the money that's been pumped into fighting cancer), it's pretty close to a "cured" disease already. For instance, consider if someone came up with a treatment of Parkinson's that reversed the disease in 75% of the sufferers - wouldn't we call that a cure? But everyone in the cancer community (medically) are always very careful never to say that anyone is cured - rather they are in "remission". After all, if word got out that cancer wasn't the death sentence everyone thinks it is, all the money would dry up (and along with it the big budgets and high salaries).

So if this new treatment really does cure cancer, and sounds like it has none of the terrible side effects of current treatments, it might be a boon for other illnesses that desperately need funding too. I think it's pretty exciting.

Re:Cure for Cancer (2, Interesting)

philspear (1142299) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992215)

Cancer is already a big umbrella funding source for research. You're researching a gene involved in embryonic bone development? Bad news: there may or may not be a "bone development association" and even if there is they're not going to give you much money to research it. Good news: there is a very good chance the gene is involved in cancer and you'll probably be able to get some money from some cancer fund.

If people stop donating money to cancer research because it's cured, it's going to decrease funding to a lot of areas that are only tangentially involved in cancer but have huge potential for human health. Trying to get people to donate to studies involving things that can't be explained with one word will be impossible.

Not to say of course that cancer shouldn't be cured, just that it's going to slow other research.

Re:Cure for Cancer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23993179)

Even if not, maybe they could quit buying new computers every year and spend the money on curing cancer instead.

Animal testing is VITAL for medical advances (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23991869)

People who protest against using animals for testing new drugs or therapies would be well advised to take note of how this advance relied on years of animal research. While unnecessary cruelty to animals is to be abhorred (and yes there may be times when suffering is necessary) this shows that the rewards may be significant.

It's interesting that (much of) the scientific community and christian fundamentalists agree upon this point. It's due to the christian fundamentalists' view that God gave Man dominion over all the animals; not because of any appreciation or understanding on their part of the scientific method.

The dangers of a sensational title (2, Interesting)

Masaq (732641) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992261)

A better title would probably be, "Scientists test to make sure that interesting cancer treatment idea doesn't kill human subjects." This appears to be a Stage I clinical trial of an interesting idea, that is at least somewhat biologically plausible. I haven't fully reviewed the pulished data, so I don't feel comfortable saying more than that. However, most of us who work in biology and medicine would agree that our understanding of the immune system is still relatively primitive, so there may be potential cures still lurking in plain site. However, Stage I trials are only the very initial trials in humans - and they evaluate safety as the primary outcome; i.e, trying to make sure we're not going to kill anyone. Stage II trials would attempt to evaluate appropriate dosing, and Stage III trials attempt to compare the new therapy to currently accepted standards. While this may be a breakthrough (and all of us in medicine are always looking for breakthroughs), there are also huge lists of ideas that worked really well in mice, moved on to Stage I, II, and III clinical trials, and failed utterly. This is extremely far from being any sort of cancer cure at this point - though perhaps 20 years from now we'll look back at this as a step towards that goal. I think it's always interesting to hear

Healthy Humans? (1)

pinqkandi (189618) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992909)

"cancer-fighting ability is even stronger in healthy humans"

If you have cancer, you are not healthy.

The test subjects have to pay?!?! (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 6 years ago | (#23992927)

WTF? The test subjects have to pay $100,000 to get in on the study? This seems like a fairly promising treatment? Why isn't money pouring in to fund this?

Humans are not big mice (5, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993033)

I just spent 2 days reading a few articles about this general area of research in last week's New England Journal of Medicine, so let me try to explain this to my fellow /.r's who so generously explain to me about warez and the penguin.

Doctors now believe that cancer goes through several stages before it becomes a problem. Cells become cancerous all the time, but usually the immune systen destroys them. To simplify a bit, immune cells such as dendrocytes (which is the hot immune cell these days) recognize cancer proteins. Dendrocytes take a piece of the cancer protein to a T cell, and the T cell kills the cancer cells. There's a great explanation of the immune process on Kimball's Biology Pages http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/A/AntigenPresentation.html [rcn.com] , and if you take a few minutes to figure it out you'll understand one of the most amazing discoveries of the last century.

The reason we get cancer is that sometimes that process doesn't work. All it takes is one time during your lifetime when a cancer cell "figures out" a way to evade the immune system, and the cancer takes off.

It obviously occurs to doctors that it would be cool (and probably win a Nobel prize) if they could figure out some way to goose the immune system into fighting cancer, just the way they goose it into fighting viruses with vaccines.

One guy who tried that was Steven Rosenberg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Rosenberg [wikipedia.org] at the NIH. Rosenberg took melanoma cells from patients, and tried to stimulate the patient's immune system with a molecule called interleukin-2 that cells use to signal immune attacks. I remember reading about that around 1984, I think. The cancer slowed down but it came back. Rosenberg has been working on it ever since.

I remember seeing a cover headline in Fortune magazine back then about Rosenberg, to the effect, "Cure for cancer." (No question mark.) Do you suppose the media hype these things?

In order to understand cancer research, you have to understand that they can kill cancer cells in laboratory bottles, they can cure cancer in mice, but when they try to kill cancer cells in humans, time and again, it doesn't work. When it finally works in humans, that's news. The other thing you have to understand is that there are many treatments that make cancer tumors shrink or disappear for a while, but they usually come back. Cancer patients don't want the cancer to go away for 6 months -- they want it to go away forever. There are a few cancers that can sometimes be cured, like testicular cancer and childhood leukemia, and maybe some prostate cancers, but most of the time, for the big 3 (colon, breast, lung) oncologists are just trying to extend life. Of course, if you're 65 and your doctor can keep you alive for another 20 years with colon cancer or leukemia, that's not so bad. Most of the successful treatments for cancer extend the life of a cancer patient from, say, 20 months to 25 months, or 40 months to 45 months, but sometimes they get a really big jump, and for people with chronic myelogenic leukemia, imatinab (Gleevec) can extend their lives indefinitely.

Anyway, the really big news is that somebody actually managed to get a treatment like Rosenberg's to work on a real human with melanoma, who seems to be cured after 2 years. This was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Treatment of metastatic melanoma with autologous CD4+ T cells against NY-ESO-1, Naomi Hunder et al., 358:2698 http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/358/25/2698 [nejm.org] In the past, they've gotten melanoma (and kidney cancer) to regress for a while, but it came back. This time it seems to be gone for good -- in one patient.

Basically, they had a patient with melanoma that had spread to his lungs. He had T cells that were primed to attack the melanoma, but for some unknown reason they weren't working, so they took some of those T cells, expanded them in the laboratory, and infused them back into his blood stream. It worked, the dendrocytes danced with the T cells, and they launched an immune attack on the cancer everywhere in his body.

Doctors have been trying this before and it hasn't worked. They've extended survival a few months but the patients died anyway. Now they may have it. But the NEJM had a review article in the same issue, "Cancer Immunology," by Olivera J. Finn. Bottom line: "The results of these forms of immunotherapy are marginal." The NEJM had another article, "Cancer immunotherapy -- the endgame begins," by Louis M. Weiner, which was a little more optimistic. He said that they could cure "some" patients with metastatic melanoma and renal-cell carcinoma. I'll have to ask about this the next time I meet researcher who is up on this.

TFA is about a different approach, which, though commendable, is still in mice. It must be doing well, because they're moving to humans, but a lot of stuff works in mice but not in humans.

NEJM is subscription only, but good old Kimball has a great page explaining the whole thing, including Hunder's latest work. http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/CancerImmunotherapy.html [rcn.com] It's not that easy to get through, but it's worth it.

Population explosion (1)

Xanlexian (122112) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993217)

In the early to mid 1900's, the global population started soaring. I believe this was due to the discovery and implementation of immunizations. We started treating all the nasties that have been doing us in for centuries, if not millennia.

I'm all for the curing of cancer -- lets all assume this really works, and it really eradicates cancer once and for all.

Just imagine the next population explosion.

Re:Population explosion (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993425)

There won't be. As in the past, when people were doing too well, great plagues would put the population numbers in check, we'll see it happen again. Heck, there's already some to some extent... if it wasn't for STDs, the sexual liberalisms of the hippies would probably still be going quite strong, and a boom would still go on (if only from the idiots who don't know about contraception).

Its only a matter of time before stuff like bird flu (but worse) wipe half the population out. I wouldn't be surprised to see it before I die (or die from it).

Good progress or poor progress? See for yourself. (2, Informative)

RonBurk (543988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23993377)

Are we making good progress on cancer? Why not look at some actual data and listen to some actual scientists? Here's a great show giving a historical overview of the trends in cancer:

Why Me, Doc? What Scientists Know - and Don't Know - About Cancer [uwtv.org]

And here's a somewhat discouraging outlook from the Nobel-winning head of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center here in Seattle:

Medical Research: The Agony and The Ecstasy [uwtv.org]

Why learn about cancer from kibitzers on slashdot, when there are great resources for technical-minded folk to learn directly from scientists?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?