Cancer Immunity?

June 30, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

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mouse.jpgThe FDA has given approval for a clinical trial that is all about cancer immunity. Wake Forest University School of Medicine, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina is the site of this amazing cancer research. Dr. Zheng Cui, an associate professor at the university, who teaches biochemistry, molecular biology, lipid biochemistry, cancer biology, and cancer immunology and his team will lead the trial.

The trial began with the accidental discovery of a mouse that was resistant to cancer. Repeated injection of cancer cells yielded zero tumor growth. Breeding the cancer immune mouse resulted in three of the seven grandchildren of the immune mouse also having the same immune characteristics.

The key to the mystery apparently lies in the white blood cells of the immune resistant mice.

The follow-up phase involved transfusing tumor ridden mice with white blood cells from the immune resistant mice. The amazing result was a cure of cancer in the tumored mice.

The next postulate: are there cancer immune humans? What about families where generations show zero cancer? The researchers will begin searching for these “cancer immune” humans. After testing, the white blood cells will be transfused into cancer patients. This process is obviously not new and is similar to a blood transfusion. The result is a bolstered immune system that is immune to cancer.

In the recent issue of the New Scientist, Dr. Cui states that “nearly 97 percent of the cancer cells exposed to certain donor immune cells were killed, while in other cases the kill ratio dropped to as low as two percent. Immune cells from patients over the age of 50 were weaker than others while stress and the time of year also appeared to factor into the efficacy rate. One potential threat to his experiment will be graft-vs-host disease. ”

Dr. Cui says, “We’ve minimized all the risk, especially for these first few rounds of trials,” he said. “We don’t know what will happen, but we hope this will cure several types of cancer and help a few people in the next months. This could be another arrow in the cancer treatment quiver.”

Check out this YouTube video on the story.

Read the full story at the News Observer or the UK Telegraph.
You can also check out this interview with Dr. Cui at the Speculist.

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2 Responses to “Cancer Immunity?”
  1. Pretty darn amazing. I was stunned. This really is quite a discovery.

  2. Missy Tippens says:

    That’s amazing! I hadn’t heard anything about this. Sounds very promising.

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