Is there any more tantalizing headline than “Scientists discover a cure for cancer”? Some version of this fantastical claim has been dropped into the news cycle with the regularity of a super blood wolf moon for the better part of a century. In 1998, James Watson told the New York Times a cancer cure would arrive by Y2K. This magazine hasn’t been immune either, running an “End of Cancer” headline a few years later. Each instance stirs up hope for patients and their families desperate to find a solution, no matter the risk or cost. And yet, here we are in 2019, with that constellation of complex, diverse diseases we lump together and call “cancer” for convenience's sake still killing one in eight men and one in 11 women, according to the World Health Organization’s latest stats. You’d think creators and consumers of news would have learned their lesson by now. But the latest version of the fake cancer cure story is even more … [Read more...] about The ‘Complete’ Cancer Cure Story Is Both Bogus and Tragic
T cell cancer cure
New Preclinical Data Presented at Annual Meeting of American Society of Hematology AUSTIN, Texas & HAMILTON, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–December 4, 2018– Triumvira Immunologics Inc. (Triumvira), announced the presentation of key preclinical data at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) 60th Annual Meeting and Exposition, held December 1-4, 2018, in San Diego, CA. The data show that TAC-engineered T cells provide long-lasting tumor rejection in mouse models of BCMA-positive and CD19-positive hematological malignancies and suggest the presence of persisting TAC-T cells that protect against tumor regrowth upon tumor rechallenge. The results build on data recently published in Nature Communications (Helsen et al., 2018) describing the proprietary T cell Antigen Coupler (TAC) technology, a chimeric receptor that co-opts the endogenous T cell receptor (TCR) for T cell activation and tumor … [Read more...] about Triumvira Immunologics Demonstrates Prolonged TAC-T Cell Persistence and Efficacy in Preclinical Models
Chance favors the prepared mind. —Louis Pasteur James Allison looks like a cross between Jerry Garcia and Ben Franklin, and he’s a bit of both, an iconoclastic scientist and musician known for good times and great achievements. He also doesn’t always answer his phone, especially when the call arrives at 5 am, from an unfamiliar number. So when the Nobel Prize committee tried to reach Allison a few weeks ago to inform him he’d been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in medicine, Allison ignored the call. Finally, at 5:30 am, Allison’s son dialed in on a familiar number to deliver the news. The calls have not stopped since. Allison’s breakthrough was the discovery of a sort of secret handshake that cancer uses to evade the immune system, and a means to block that handshake—what the Nobel committee hailed as “a landmark in our fight against cancer,” which has “revolutionized cancer treatment, fundamentally changing the way we view … [Read more...] about Meet the Carousing, Harmonica-Playing Texan Who Just Won a Nobel for his Cancer Breakthrough
Tamara Strauss has been living with high-grade, stage IV pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer for more than three years. Current treatments, although effective for her, are highly toxic. Tamara enrolled in a first-of-its-kind, pilot study at Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health to test a personalized vaccine using her unique cancer mutations to boost an anti-tumor immune response. Led by Stephen Schoenberger, PhD, professor of immunology at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LJI), and Ezra Cohen, MD, professor of medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, scientists and clinicians have developed a technology that reliably defines the neoantigens — foreign protein fragments recognized by the immune system — in a patient’s cancer. With neoantigens identified, the team can identify peptides — strings of amino acids — that can be used to create a vaccine to stimulate a protective immune system response. … [Read more...] about Is the Next Big Step in Cancer Therapy Personalized Vaccines?
A new approach to treating pancreatic cancer using 'educated killer cells' has shown promise, according to early research by Queen Mary University of London. The new cell-based immunotherapy, which has not yet been tested in humans with pancreatic cancer, led to mice being completely cancer-free, including cancer cells that had already spread to the liver and lungs. Each year around 9,800 people in the UK are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The disease is particularly aggressive and has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers. This is because it is often diagnosed at a late and advanced stage, when the tumour has already spread to other organs. In the study, published in the journal Gut, the team used pancreatic cancer cells from patients with late-stage disease, and transplanted them into mice. They then took the patients' immune cells and modified them to specifically identify and eliminate the cancer cells - creating 'educated killer cells', or CAR-T cells. And for the … [Read more...] about Killer Cell Immunotherapy Offers Potential Cure for Advanced Pancreatic Cancer