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Cancer Cured By HIV

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the what-could-possibly-go-wrong dept.

Medicine 521

bluefoxlucid writes "Apparently cancer has been cured, by injecting people with HIV. From the article: 'As the white cells killed the cancer cells, the patients experienced the fevers and aches and pains that one would expect when the body is fighting off an infection, but beyond that the side effects have been minimal.' Nifty. Poorly edited run-on sentence, but nifty."

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Modified, Harmless HIV Used (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37056930)

Two fairly important adjectives that were for some reason omitted from the summary are listed in the article:

In the Penn experiment, the researchers removed certain types of white blood cells that the body uses to fight disease from the patients. Using a modified, harmless version of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, they inserted a series of genes into the white blood cells. These were designed to make to cells target and kill the cancer cells. After growing a large batch of the genetically engineered white blood cells, the doctors injected them back into the patients.

Emphasis mine. The summary almost makes it sound like the researchers just used HIV as we know it ... it's almost humorous to think that a doctor might say "The treatment was a success, you no longer have cancer ... but ..." "BUT WHAT?" "Well, we sorta had to inject you with the HIV in order to take care of it." Obviously this is not the case.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (5, Insightful)

rockclimber (660746) | more than 2 years ago | (#37056962)

most people with pancreatic cancer would gladly make that trade!

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057310)

There are worse cancers to have. A friend of mine had lost her mother to rectal cancer. If you ever want to feel like a complete d-bag, talk to a person about someone dying from ass cancer, then after giggling about it, find out they were completely serious. Even more so if it was recent.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (-1)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057380)

if i would need to make choice between:
- being able to screw around until i die
or
- being unsafe to screw with for the rest of my life
please, i'll take two cancer portions;)

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057442)

Huh?

Just find a partner with AIDS ... and go at it all you want...

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (0)

mmcuh (1088773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057598)

Right. With that one partner.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057700)

So, in this hypothetical situation that has nothing to do with the actual article, if you had leukemia and had a matter of weeks to live before you died an agonizing death, you would prefer that option to being forced to limit your sexual partners? Here's some advice for you: www.sa.org

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057608)

if i would need to make choice between:
- being able to screw around until i die
or
- being unsafe to screw with for the rest of my life
please, i'll take two cancer portions;)

If you had pancreatic adenocarcinoma, you would most likely be dead in less than a year.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057656)

Ever heard of wearing a rubber? Oddly enough AIDS can't seep through latex.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057016)

Using a modified, harmless version of HIV

Yeah, that's probably something that should be repeated pretty heavily. Given what I've seen in some alternative therapy books over the years, people don't need to be *more* confused by HIV.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057046)

Not to mention that this treatment also only applies to one very specific form of cancer, not cancer in general.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (1)

myurr (468709) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057268)

Not really. It's only been trialled on a single type of cancer, but the way it works is effectively teaching the bodies own white blood cells how to target and kill the cancer cells. I am not an expert in this field by any means, but that technique should translate to most if not all types of cancer.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (3, Insightful)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057044)

Even if it were the case where HIV was the cure of cancer it seems like given our current ability to keep people alive with HIV that might be the better option. Now this sounds even better as you don't end up with what is a disease that is treatable but still not curable.

Now if I only hadn't already used my remaining mod points.

Still a better prognosis? (5, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057064)

Even if it did use real HIV, in many cases the life-span for HIV is around 24 years after infection in the US. This is compared to what, 6 months-5 years for some of the worst forms of cancer? I think in many cases, people would very willingly make that trade. IN many cases it would allow people to live to almost a full average lifespan anyway.

Re:Still a better prognosis? (3, Interesting)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057318)

Your point is compelling, but some people might think that lifeSpan != life.

Re:Still a better prognosis? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057368)

Your point is compelling, but some people might think that lifeSpan != life.

You might get to live to see your son graduate college, or your daughter get married, or your grandchildren born. It could give you time to go visit Paris, Rome, and Venice. You can hike the Appalachian Trail like you've always wanted. I think that is a trade off most people would choose.

Re:Still a better prognosis? (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057616)

Is quality of life with HIV worse than that with cancer?

Re:Still a better prognosis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057692)

Not anymore. Treatment today is down to 1 or 2 pills a day, for a few bucks.

Re:Still a better prognosis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057354)

Some nasty side effects of HIV though.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057074)

Your work here is truly dung.... good job pointing that out.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057642)

Your work here is truly dung

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Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (5, Informative)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057116)

Furthermore, they did not inject the HIV, they injected previously removed white blood cells modified by HIV.

MOD THE PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057186)

As someone who both read and comprehended the article. If I mod points I would totally mod your comment up.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (1)

dpilot (134227) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057140)

"harmless" makes me think of the update about Earth that Ford Prefect made to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - "mostly harmless".

* How absolutely perfect is the process which makes the HIV harmless? This sounds like it could turn into a "yield vs escape" issue during manufacture, where one escape becomes a case of AIDS.
* How long do the modified white blood cells hang out in the body?
* The deadly flu strains generally kill when the body's own immune system overreacts. It sounds like these people may have a "guaranteed to overreact" immune system

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (4, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057552)

I am not an expert on this, by any means, but from reading the article and a bit of deduction I *think* the answers are straightforward:

1) The use of the modified HIV strain is outside of the body. It's used to "train" the white blood cells that have already been removed, so it's not likely to have much, if any, capability to harm the patient.

2) The new "specialized" white blood cells are just that. Once their "target" is gone, they will likely die off. There's nothing for them to fight.

3) Even if the treatment has a similar mortality rate to flu, that would be a huge and unimaginable improvement over the mortality rate for most types of aggressive cancer. The mortality rate for flu, especially if the patient is already in the hospital and everyone is prepared for it, is extremely low. The mortality rate for some of the more aggressive cancers is well over 50% even with treatment.

Honestly, there exist several forms of highly aggressive, highly lethal cancers that people would look at a 20% base mortality rate for the cure and consider it a good deal. Not that this seems to be a problem in this case.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (2)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057610)

the summary is too poorly written for words.

they didn't inject anyone with HIV.

It's like a summary saying "patient cured with cyanide" ....because one of the tools used to make the pills used cyanide in it's manufacture if you get the idea.

they used a modified retrovirus(in this case a modified harmless version of HIV) to genetically engineer a few of the patients own immune cells and then injected those cells back into the patient.

apparently the patients are still alive after almost a year so whatever the side effects they don't seem too bad.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057164)

We cured cancer and you're bitching about the formatting? Get some perspective!

No problem (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057252)

To get rid of the injected HIV you just do a marrow transplant from one of the people who are immune. So it's only a 50% survival rate, what's the big deal ;-)

Joking aside, is the modified HIV virus live, replicating and infectious? I don't think unleashing live viruses that have no known cure is a good idea no mater how modified they are.

Re:No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057312)

As I understood it they used the virus to modify white blood cells in a laboratory, then injected the white blood cells back into the patient (not the virus). The HIV virus is pretty good at injecting genes into white blood cells so that's probably why they used that. But the virus is only

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (0)

AJH16 (940784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057324)

Yeah, it's really more using HIV's ability to avoid detection by white blood cells to allow it to be used as an efficient means of delivering genetically engineered information to someone's white blood cells. Not exactly a completely new approach, but awesome that they have made some very promising success in the process.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (4, Informative)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057398)

It wasn't even denatured HIV that treated them; they used it as gene therapy to modify white blood cells to make them specifically target the lukemia cancer, and added a gene to make the white blood cells multiply like crazy. It was these 'killer' reprogrammed white blood cells that were injected, and went onto multiply heavily and attack the cancerous cells.

Gene therapies like this, using white blood cells to attack cancer have been tried before, but they only killed a small amount of cancerous cells before dying off. The new approach here is using modified HIV as the carrier, and also including a replicator gene to make the white blood cells much more effective.

That said; this is only 3 patients. We don't know how scalable this approach will be to other patients, whether it will be generally effective, and whether it actually kills the cancer or only slows it down. Presumably the same approach could be used to target other cancers, but even if it only hits this common form of leukemia, it's still a massive step forward IFF it's scalable and effective, compared to other treatments such as radiation and chemo.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057426)

... so if you have cancer you shouldn't rush out and have lots of rough, unprotected gay sex? Whoops!

Could make a good joke (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057514)

And then the doctor said, "I have some good news and some bad news..."

and so on.

Re:Modified, Harmless HIV Used (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057678)

So what you're saying is the now patients have "3 Stooges Syndrome" ala Mr. Burns.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7r3M03v95i0 [youtube.com]

There are other treatments available! (0, Troll)

Dr.Bob,DC (2076168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37056938)


If you are one of the unlucky ones to get cancer, there is still hope through Chiropractic . Here is the
Chiropractic Cancer Foundation for Children [ccffc.org]

and research reading at Chiropractic and Cancer [chiro.org] Here is an article about lung cancer treatment with Chiropractic [chiromt.com] Big Pharma doesn't want you to know about these DRUG FREE remedies!

Take care,
Bob

Re:There are other treatments available! (1)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37056996)

Simon Singh has another opinion.

Re:There are other treatments available! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057068)

you heartless, despicable scum. you know chiropractic has no real-world benefits and you're trying to exploit desperate and suffering people. shame on you! i almost wish there was a hell so you could burn in it. get off my slashdot you cunt

Re:There are other treatments available! (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057120)

You are just as bad a homeopathic advocates. You know damn well there is nothing related to nerves or anything similar when it comes to cancer. It is a problem with the genes inside the cells. You aren't just giving people false hope spewing lies and propaganda like this, you are killing them.

Re:There are other treatments available! (2)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057174)

That post was so bad it gave me cancer!

Though maybe the cancer really came from that neck crick I got from smashing my head into my desk...

Re:There are other treatments available! (0)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057462)

I went threw Chiropractor a few times and they worked... But not for cancer. I did it for fixing a stiff neck, and some nerve issues.
Chiropractic treatments are not all homeopathic mumbo jumbo. But they are for things that happen to people that are not spine and nerve related. The same thing with Acupuncture, it treats some things but not as much as they claim.

  But for Cancer you can be paralyzed from the neck down and still get cancer or not have cancer. And a lot of the times kids actually are able to fight of cancer by themselves.

Re:There are other treatments available! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057696)

I want to mod this +5 troll, but I can't do it alone.

And after the cancer is cured (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37056980)

When wintertime rolls around, the AIDS-eating gorillas simply freeze to death.

Re:And after the cancer is cured (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057672)

Everybody has aids ..... aids aids aids!

Finally, an excuse to shut my wife up (0)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37056982)

Lots of men experiment at bathhouses, Jenny! That doesn't make me gay.

Re:Finally, an excuse to shut my wife up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057190)

Yes it does.

Re:Finally, an excuse to shut my wife up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057338)

Yes it does.

i agree it does make him gay.

Re:Finally, an excuse to shut my wife up (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057350)

It was the 80's. Things were different then, okay.

The obvious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057002)

How long until we never hear about this again?

Or, how long until big medicine gets their hands on it and makes it too expensive for the average cancer patient?

Re:The obvious question (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057570)

(dramatic music)

Dah dah daaaaaaaaaaaah!

House (1)

scuzzlebutt (517123) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057018)

This sounds like an episode of House. Didn't he treat cancer by infecting a patient with Malaria on a dare, or some such thing?

Please read the final paragraph of TFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057030)

"It is important to emphasize that there still have been only three patients. Over the past century, many attempts to harness the bodyâ(TM)s immune system to fight cancer have shown initial success and subsequent failure. So much research remains to be done to prove just how good this treatment is. But it should begin soon, with great vigor."

Could the title and summary be more exaggerated? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057032)

If what you got from that article is "cancer has been cured by injecting people with HIV", please abstain from posting any more summaries.

Re:Could the title and summary be more exaggerated (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057370)

What do you expect from /. when troll headlines make it through the editors untouched? A much better headline would be "CLL, a type of leukemia, cured by modified HIV virus" but that's not sexy enough. This still doesn't help those unfortunate people with pancreatic adenocarcinoma or grade IV astrocytoma.

Re:Could the title and summary be more exaggerated (2)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057688)

Actually, if you read the article, it's pretty clear that while this particular experiment was leukemia based the theory should work on nearly any cancer. Basically, they used a modified HIV virus as a carrier to modify the DNA of some of the patients white blood cells (outside of the body). The modified cells are made to specifically target the cancer in question (and replicate, a lot). If trials continue to be successful, there is no reason to think that the "signature" of any cancer couldn't be substituted for the leukemia.

Nifty. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057464)

Run-on sentences are bad. Sentence fragments are bad, too.

Re:Could the title and summary be more exaggerated (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057506)

But that is what gets people to read it. They are all ready and have have protest signs made up, after reading the summer then they click on the link right before the big protest so they can have a source to give to the media so they don't seem like raving nuts.

Re:Could the title and summary be more exaggerated (1)

glorybe (946151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057620)

I have a couple of guys in the building that seem to be attempting the cure by direct injection, nightly.

Not so fast (1)

softwaredoug (1075439) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057040)

FTA

It is important to emphasize that there still have been only three patients. Over the past century, many attempts to harness the body’s immune system to fight cancer have shown initial success and subsequent failure.

Proof of God (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057054)

People often point to the existence of Cancer and HIV as proof of God's inability to be either benevolent or omnipotent. I'm sure this will shut up nonbelievers and shows us how God acts through mysterious ways to give us his holy grace. If you haven't accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior you must do so now.

Re:Proof of God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057150)

sooooo, God wants us to have gay sex to cure cancer?

Re:Proof of God (4, Funny)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057158)

I'm sorry but such a level of irony - treating cancer with HIV - is the proof that God is a woman and named Eris.
Nowhere in the Bible did I see a lot of "Ahah, just kidding" coming from the christian God.

Re:Proof of God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057420)

The story of abraham and issac shows us god tests our faith daily.

Re:Proof of God (0, Flamebait)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057668)

No it shows that your kind would kill their own children for their imaginary friend.

So what you're REALLY trying to say is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057076)

We can wipe out overpopulation, the threat of AIDS, and cancer by just giving everyone in the world HIV? Those that are immune to HIV effects (those bearing a particular genetic anomaly passed down from Black Plague survivors) wouldn't be affected negatively, cancer would be eradicated, and those left over could get around to repopulation once they're done burning billions of corpses.

Right? Am I missing something? Oversimplifying perhaps?

Incredible. (1)

sbrown123 (229895) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057078)

This is...so incredible. The application of modified white cells and using HIV as a carrier has use beyond just cancer. It is too bad the drug companies and big cancer foundations didn't back this from the start. Hopefully the money will come pouring in now.

Re:Incredible. (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057334)

This is...so incredible. The application of modified white cells and using HIV as a carrier has use beyond just cancer. It is too bad the drug companies and big cancer foundations didn't back this from the start. Hopefully the money will come pouring in now.

The use of retroviral vectors [wikipedia.org] for gene therapy (and for basic biological science research, too) has been an active area of extensive research pretty much since we first figured out how these viruses worked. I would be shocked if there were any substantial cancer research institutes anywhere that didn't have at least a couple of projects that used retroviral methods.

Gene therapy techniques of any kind are conceptually easy but can be technically very finicky. If this is the one project in a thousand that actually works effectively and cleanly (and it may just be) then that's wonderful -- but the absence of other success stories isn't because of a lack of funding for research in this area.

Re:Incredible. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057586)

This isn't "new news" so much as it is a follow-up on old news. We have actually discussed using a modified virus to "instruct" white cells to kill cancer before. And as the article indicates, the test occurred over a year ago.

I'm not part of your system! (0)

TheVidiot (549995) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057098)

I'm in the hospital with my so-called doctor,

and takes his syringe and says

"This is a cure for cancer!"

And I said "Maaaaan this isn't a cancer cure, it's HIV!"

So I took it and I threw it on the ground!

Someone's on the line for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057110)

Kaposi's sarcoma called, and laughed at your announcement.

It'll never make it through FDA trials (4, Insightful)

DarthBart (640519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057122)

FTA: Both the National Cancer Institute and several pharmaceutical companies declined to pay for the research.

Of course they did. If you cure cancer with one shot, the cash cow of chemo drugs dries up for Big Pharma and the cash cow of donations dries up for the American Cancer Society and other 'non-profit' organization.

Re:It'll never make it through FDA trials (3, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057178)

The eradication of polio did not mean the end of the March of Dimes. The NCI would simply need a name change and slight focus adjustment.

Re:It'll never make it through FDA trials (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057626)

Polio has not been eradicated. [wikipedia.org] Smallpox and Rinderpest are the only diseases to be eradicated globally.

Re:It'll never make it through FDA trials (1)

backslashdot (95548) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057332)

No, because they can charge 5 years worth of chemo fees for that one shot !!

The insurance companies and cancer patients would gladly take the loans and pay up.

Think about it .. hundreds of millions of people have cancer .. that means whoever finds a one shot cure will instantly be a trillionaire .. they can take their money and buy and island and retire. Or invest in a one shot cure for AIDS.

Re:It'll never make it through FDA trials (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057348)

To be fair, similar techniques have been tried without success in the past. What this team did different was perform a second modification to the patient's white blood cells encouraging them to multiply rapidly once they were put back into the patient's body. No one really knew what that would do, it's entirely possible that it could have killed the patient outright, which is probably why this first study was so small (only three, highly terminal cases).

The story of the guy who was told he had 3 weeks to live, got this treatment, watched 5 lbs of cancer melt away over the course of the next month, and has been living happily ever after ever since is amazing though. This is the first time in a long time that I've actually had hope for a general cancer cure, hopefully they can generalize it to other cancers and make it cheap and simple enough for your average oncologist to perform.

Re:It'll never make it through FDA trials (1)

Octorian (14086) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057402)

This is actually something I've often wondered about, more about the ACA than big pharma. We have all these big "societies" that have grown up around major medical conditions. And any sufficiently large organization tends to want to perpetuate. If the thing they stand for is suddenly a solved problem, what motive do they have to continue to exist?

(That being said, given that cancer is really a whole family of related conditions, I doubt its something that can be "cured" in one fell swoop anyways.)

But seriously, if the "tried and true" methods aren't making more than minor incremental progress, what's so bad about trying radial new high-risk/high-payoff things? For the DoD, we have a whole agency (DARPA) dedicated to funding just that.

Re:It'll never make it through FDA trials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057486)

They make useless new standards. Look at xhtml and html5. Solutions in search of problems.

Eh, ok. So, different situations, but the same situation.

Re:It'll never make it through FDA trials (5, Insightful)

BKX (5066) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057490)

This argument is bullshit. Pure bullshit. If any "Big Pharma" company invented a cure for cancer tomorrow, you can bet your ass that they'd be all over it in a heartbeat. Why? Because, then that company would forever be known as the company that cured cancer. Every new product they make would be a pot of gold. Every ad they put out would be "Muhdikard, a new treatment for erectile dysfunction, from Drugco. We cured cancer.". Every drug company on the face of the planet would kill for that kind of marketing, not to mention the money from selling the cancer cure.

Now, of course, "cure for cancer" is a worthless phrase as well, since cancer is a type of disease, and not a single disease, and therefore, it's extremely unlikely that one cure will work for more than one cancer let alone all of them.

Re:It'll never make it through FDA trials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057554)

I'm now modding any comment down that uses the phrase "big pharma" or "big" anything. The lack of any rational thought that went into this comment makes baby jebus cry.

Demolition Man (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057146)

Sometimes, you have to send a maniac to catch a maniac. Or AIDs to catch cancer.
-www.awkwardengineer.com [awkwardengineer.com]

With a bullet (-1, Troll)

cscalfani (222387) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057156)

Evidently, cancer can also be cured by inject people with a bullet. From the article, "As the bullet kills the patient, the cancer cells experiences death, but beyond that the side effects have been minimal."

Experiments performed only on 3 test subjects (5, Informative)

kvvbassboy (2010962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057168)

And for one of them, it only removed 70% of the cancerous tissues. This is hardly a significant number to confirm the efficacy of the treatment. Also from TFA:

"Both the National Cancer Institute and several pharmaceutical companies declined to pay for the research. Neither applicants nor funders discuss the reasons an application is turned down. But good guesses are the general shortage of funds and the concept tried in this experiment was too novel and, thus, too risky for consideration."

Both the guesses as BS, considering the impact that this treatment could result in. I get the feeling that the article is hiding certain aspects of the treatment that may put it in a negative light.

Re:Experiments performed only on 3 test subjects (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057418)

The funding would have to be allocated before any trials actually took place. In other words, the scientists go to the foundation, say "we have this idea which we think might work but is completely untried, will you give us money", and hope they are interested. So, the funders would have no idea if the treatment has any chance of success prior to funding it. Lots of potentially good research goes untried because no one is willing/able to fund it.

In short, the fact it wasn't able to get good funding tells us absolutely nothing about how well it actually works, only how well some people in positions of power, who may or may not even be scientists (in the case of pharma companies are more likely bean counters), thought it might work. And 2 out of 3, with 70% remission on the 3rd is quite impressive. Especially when one of them was weeks from dying.

Re:Experiments performed only on 3 test subjects (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057450)

70% removal of cancerous tissues from a terminal patient with no significant side effects (they mention flu like symptoms but I assure you compared to chemo or radiation that isn't even worth mentioning).

Similar treatments have been ineffective. The modifications this team made to the treatment had the potential to be high risk to the patient and had never been attempted before. Trying to modify white blood cells to reproduce much more rapidly than is natural, but not so rapidly as to cause harm to the patient, is a delicate balancing act. One has to wonder how they accomplished it so well on their first try.

Re:Experiments performed only on 3 test subjects (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057454)

Probably Zombie-ism.

Re:Experiments performed only on 3 test subjects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057682)

Dr. Neville, is that you?

Anyone else think of I Am Legend? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057180)

specifically Will Smith's version where they used a modified virus to cure cancer, which turned everyone into zombie/vamp whatevers..

There was an old lady... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057204)

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly.
perhaps she'll die.

More funding required? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057212)

Lemme guess, they need more funding to do more research and tests? Three successful subjects a cure does not make!

Herpes Next! (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057216)

Herpes, the new arch nemesis of Heart Disease?

And then they turn into vampires (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057218)

Read I am Legend. It's true!

Shame on the NCI and big pharma... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057306)

Kudos to The Alliance For Cancer Gene Therapy [acgtfoundation.org] for funding the limited trial.

False Summary and Title (1)

Edge00 (880722) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057316)

No where in the article was it reported that HIV was injected into a patient. They used the retroviral nature of HIV to insert genes into white blood cells in vitro and then injected these modified cells back into the patient.

This is Cold Fusion huge. (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057320)

They jacked up the T-Cells to make leukemia go away. They destroyed tumors!

If there was ever a time to support government-funded science, this is the time. This technology should belong to the people. Not just a subset of the people protected by patent walls.

Zombies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057392)

I for one welcome the zombie apocalypse that will come from the mutation of treatment once it becomes main stream.

Okay, a cure is good (0)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057434)

Can we also address the CAUSES? We know certain things cause cancer. We also suspect a great many more but we have problems in getting the proof recognized which can only be described as "political and/or political reasons." We need to get over these reasons, determine the substances and then ban them from consumption by people.

I know... logical and to-the-point. It will never work because there is too much money being made in poisoning people all over the world with "whatever causes [malady]" and that happens all over the world, not just here in the U.S. Lead based paint, mercury, and a long list of other things...

Re:Okay, a cure is good (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057578)

No, we can't, because cancer is caused by any mutagen. Including the sun. It's likliehood is increased by decreasing telomere length, so unless you have a means to prevent solar radiation or aging, there's always going to be at least some cancer.

"Determine these substances and ban them" is the dumbest idea ever. You are hereby prohibited from eating: Fish, grains, red meat, white meat, vegtables, and fruits. Those all have trivial ammounts of carceniogens(including bacteria and viruses). You shouldn't eat them. Take up bretharianism.

What will the prescription look like? (1)

zbharucha (1331473) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057440)

Doctor: Well, you've got cancer. But don't worry, the cure is simple. Just sleep with the most disgusting whore you can find.

Actual Articles (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057630)

The first seems to be a link to a case study of one of the patients of the 3 person trial. The second seems to be a summary of the trials, I think. Only read the first one as most of the medical talk goes over my head.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1103849#t=articleTop
http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/3/95/95ra73.abstract

The only major issue I saw from reading the first one was some kidney issues that may have been related to dehydration.

"I'm more closer" (1)

Uhhhh oh ya! (1000660) | more than 2 years ago | (#37057658)

Just because he survived doesn't give him the right to kill the English language.

obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37057704)

http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/11p19/

when you think about it it is kinda funny...

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