New strategy defeats cancer cells that evade chemotherapy
When the body sees toxic material immune cells kill it, by cancer cells release sneaky, they put the brakes on the immune system, immune checkpoint blockers. Stop that from happening you basically, preventing that brake from engaging. It would it be kind of similar like cancer had kind of has like this invisible cloak that it like kinda hides under. And then you kind of take off that Claudio by think that's a great way to describe it since the cancer is no longer invisible. The immune system can mount an attack. It was a huge breakthrough in the food and drug admin. Ration- approved the first drugs to do this in two thousand eleven the science behind the miracle. Drug was developed back in the nineties by a guy named max krummel in a lab at UC Berkeley, I was very frustrated graduate student for few years trying to develop an antibody that would do something after many long nights krummel noticed. His antibody was influencing the behavior of immune cells. You can drive a car you can exceleron them or you can break them. And then it was really like playtime. He started injecting the antibodies into sick mice and essentially in the various first set of experience my antibodies caused tumors to shrink now fast forward a couple of decades to Ashley Walton story her doctors hope the technology developed in crumbles lab could be the key to killing her cancer. But the treatment was haring when Ashley started receiving immunotherapy the ninety minute drips or followed by a slew of side effects. I started getting really high fevers, I got a few skin rashes gastritis. Still her tumors were shrinking then after six months, new lesions cropped up Ashley's abdomen. So we're doctors added a second immunotherapy drug to the mix. And fortunately, she had a lot of the drugs possible side effects. Yeah. I just generally felt like the life was being sucked out of me. So you go into a really dark place for several years actually hitchhiked from drug to drug just to stay alive. There are so many advancements being made in the field of immunotherapy that even if it doesn't cure. You. It gets you to the next big thing that wild ride paid off. She hasn't had an infusion in the last ten months, so technically in remission. Yes. That's. Stories like Ashley is are really exciting to on colleges. Dr Leonard Lipton. Feld is the chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. So imagine when we've gone from the time when we had nothing to offer to today, and they're talking about cure for some patients with advanced melanoma, scientists and big pharma are really hopeful about the future. There's about a thousand current trials to develop new therapy drugs to help more people fight different kinds of cancer about thirty to forty percent of patients still do not respond to immunotherapy remember worth the beginning of the stern. We're not at the end. We still have a long way to go. We're gonna have ups, and we're going to have Down's back in the exam room. Ashley and her mom receives the prising news at our latest checkup with Dr Dowd. So what do you think about pregnancy are trying to start a family? So I think it's time to get pregnant actually. Ashley crosses her fingers and smiles for here and now unless they McLaren. Good news here now is production of NPR and WVU aren't association with the BBC World Service. I'm Robin young. I'm Jeremy Hobson. This is here now.