Woman's advanced breast cancer cured with immunotherapy
The woman has been in remission for two years after going through a clinical trial.
ROCKVILLE PIKE, MARYLAND — A woman's advanced stage breast cancer that had spread to other parts of her body was cured using her own immune cells.
Doctors say the treatment marks the first time a T-cell immunotherapy application for late-stage breast cancer was successful. The results were published in the journal Nature Medicine.
Judy Perkins, a 49-year-old engineer, from Florida was selected for the new therapy after chemotherapy failed to stop the tumor in her right breast from spreading to her liver and other areas, according to the Guardian. She was told she only had three years to live.
Doctors from the National Cancer Institute in Maryland first took biopsies from Perkins' tumors, looked at the DNA mutations specific to her cancer.
Physicians then extracted immune cells called tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, TILs, from the biopsies.
Billions of these immune cells were then grown in the lab. The researchers then injected 80 billion of the TILs into Perkins' body.
The treatment was given in tandem with pembrolizumab, a standard cancer drug that helps the immune system.
After 42 weeks, tests showed Perkins was completely free of cancer.
According to the Guardian, researchers are now planning full scale clinical trials.
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