- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 10, 2018

An experimental immunotherapy treatment used for a woman suffering from a specific type of breast cancer eradicated her tumors, a promising development in the ongoing innovation of using the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

In a case report published in the journal Nature, Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg, a pioneering immunotherapy scientist at the National Cancer Institute, wrote that the specific therapy eliminated the patient’s metastatic breast cancer and she has remained cancer-free for almost two years.

Only two immunotherapy treatments are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are for common, specific types of blood cancers, including acute lymphoblastic lymphoma and diffuse large cell lymphoma of certain subtypes.

Doctors and researchers continue clinical trials to test new combinations of immunotherapies to treat different types of cancer.

Immunotherapy is a treatment where a patient’s T cells — bacteria-fighting cells in the immune system — are extracted and modified in a lab to identify and destroy specific tumors.

Despite successes in the treatment, side effects can be severe and potentially fatal. Patients must be monitored closely once modified T-cells are injected back into them to make sure that their souped-up immune system doesn’t attack the rest of their bodies.

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