Immune Cell Therapy Cured Cancer Patients After A Decade, Doctors Witnessed


Cancer kills millions of people each year. The staggering numbers may sound too much and many may be overwhelmed by the sheer amount, but statistics don’t lie. This has proven to be true.

While scientists have been working hard to find the ultimate cure, cancer still claims the lives of many. This new solution may be the answer because scientists have witnessed the hopeful outcome of immune cell therapy.

A 75-year-old California man has been declared free of cancer after an immune cell treatment. This happened after ten long years of observation. They found that the therapy had managed to wipe out his blood cancer and make sure it never returns.

The newest form of treatment is one of several next-generation treatments for cancer. This is called CAR-T cell therapy. Its goal is to retrain one of the most effective immune cells to target cancer quickly and efficiently. Even after, it stays on patrol for years at a time. It’s job is to keep evolving so that cancer is kept at bay.

“I’m doing great right now. I’m still very active. I was running half marathons until 2018,” Doug Olson told the local news. He lives in Pleasanton, California. He also said, “This is a cure. And they don’t use the word lightly.”

It took them three weeks after the experimental treatment was administered. Finally, the Olson’s University of Pennsylvania doctors named Carl June and David Porter sat down with Olson and told him the good news. They were proud to say that they have not been able to spot a single cancer cell in his body after years of seeing some.

Conventionally, the cancer-fighting paradigm meant that they needed to attack cancer cells radioactively. They used chemicals as a form of cure mainly because of the cancer’s ability to disguise itself from the host’s immune system. Now, things have somewhat changed. There are several methods of therapies available and these involve reconfiguring the immune system to do its job properly. Thousands of patients have become recipients and they are hopeful with the results.


All about the Therapy

The therapy being utilized is called CAR and it stands for the protein “chimeric antigen receptors.” This has the ability to detect tumors and allow the T-cells to attack them accordingly. These are first extracted from the patient, then it is genetically-engineered in order for it to produce CAR, and then reintroduced into the system. At this point in time, five treatments of this nature have already been approved by the FDA to cancers such as treat leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Dr. June has been looking into this and has estimated that, so far, tens of thousands of patients have already received CAR-T cell treatment.

While the treatment can cure cancer, it must be noted that this is not a miracle cure. It can be expensive and technically demanding. More importantly, only around 25 to 35 percent of recipients have gone into total remission. This was the case with Olson. Dr. June and Porter believe that the therapy must be continuously refined and perfected so that that percentage of success can increase.

As for Olson himself, he regularly runs with his son to try and keep himself in prime health and better condition. “If my cancer was gone, I certainly didn’t want to die of a heart attack,” he told Nature.