A 'living medicine' prevents cancer from ever returning and will soon be available everywhere, scientists claim.
The immunotherapy with T-cells consists of removing white blood cells from the immune system of the patient and treating them in such a way that they recognise and attack metastatic tumours. Those blood cells are then multiplied and entered back into the patient.
The enormous potential of this treatment as a long-term cure for cancer was thus far relatively unknown. Scientists call the results of these two new studies 'extraordinary' and 'unheard of in medicine'.
One of the studies showed that the cancer-fighting cells can remain active up to 14 years in the body. Another study showed that in 94% of the terminally ill patients the acute lymphomatic leukaemia disappeared completely.
In the San Raffaele scientific institute in Milan the doctors gave ten patients intravenous therapy with T-cells, which in some cases protected the body and destroyed traces of cancer for longer than ten years.
Researcher Chiara Bonini speaks of a revolution and claims that the treatment will be available everywhere within a reasonable amount of time.
In the second study, at the Fred Hutchinson cancer research centre in Seattle, 94% of the patients with advanced blood cancer who had just two to five months to live and for whom no other treatment worked, were cured.