A patient diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and was treated with an experimental and modified version of another treatment called Adoptive Cell Transfer.
The patient had only 3 months to live until researchers asked her to be a subject to their version of immunotherapy. She is known to be the only patient so far to be successfully treated with immunotherapy.
When testing started to target her tumors, they took cells regarding her tissue that was unique to her cancer. They located the cells that were immune, relying on the mutations that formed in the tissue. They grew billions of them in a lab and then injected the cells into her.
“After the treatment dissolved most of my tumors, I was able to go for a 40-mile hike.”
The patient whilst in the middle of her treatment, already had huge results given that she only had 3 months left.
The reason for the research still being in an experimental stage is because it is solely based on the body making mutations, but it gives a type of start to work from.
Although there is much hype and excitement about the new and promising method of treating the hardest to treat cancers, Senior science information manager Nell Barrie from Cancer Research UK explains that it does not work for all patients, and hints that it would be a while before the method is used widely.