Cancer ‘cure’ to be tested in humans

Yesterday, I went and volunteered for the Livestrong Bike Ride in Portland. I basically manned the water and Gatorade station. A highly pivotal role. It felt good to contribute something while these guys went out and rode 40, 70, or 100 miles to raise money for cancer research and pay their respects for the cancer survivors or the ones they lost.

At the station I was volunteering for there was a group of pirate entertainers, who weren’t so entertaining. Actually, their schtick was funny at first but then it got old.? Quickly.

Towards the end of the day, several volunteers realized that one of the pirates may have inadvertently sexually harassed one of the riders and then there was a cringe worthy exchange.

A rider came to the rest stop on back of his jersey were three names whom he was riding “In Memory” of.? One pirate saw the names and offered to do a pirate cheer in their honor.? Sounds great.? They do the cheer, except the cheers ends with “Who’s better than us?? No one’s better than us, because everyone else is dead!”? Which is probably not the best way to end a salute in honor of people who have died from cancer.? Just sayin’.

The whole point of this is that it was a big weekend for cancer.?

Scientists at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center are going to move a new Cancer treatment from trials in mice to trials in humans.? When tested in mice, 100% of Cancer cells were eradicated.? Scientists transfuse white blood cells, known as granulocytes, into patients with advanced forms of Cancer.? Only certain people have these cancer-killing activity in their white blood cells.

Needless to say, they are very optimistic about what this study could mean.? “In mice, we’ve been able to eradicate even highly aggressive forms of malignancy with extremely large tumors,” Cui said. “Hopefully, we will see the same results in humans. Our laboratory studies indicate that this cancer-fighting ability is even stronger in healthy humans.”

The study is the latest building block on nearly ten years of research and work from these scientists.

Granulocytes are the most abundant type of white blood cells and can account for as much as 60 percent of total circulating white blood cells in healthy humans. Donors can give granulocytes specifically without losing other components of blood through a process called apheresis that separates granulocytes and returns other blood components back to donors.

“The difference between our study and the traditional white cell therapy is that we’re selecting the healthy donors based on the cancer-killing ability of their white blood cells,” said Cui. The scientists are calling the therapy Leukocyte InFusion Therapy (LIFT).

The goal of the phase II study is to determine whether patients can tolerate a sufficient amount of transfused granulocytes for the treatment. Participants will be monitored on a regular basis, and after three months scientists will evaluate whether the treatment results in clear clinical benefits for the patients. If this phase of the study is successful, scientists will expand the study to determine if the treatment is best suited to certain types of cancer.

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