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30 June 2008

Cancer Patient 'Cured' With Own Immune System

An Oregon man given less than a year to live experienced a complete remission of advanced melanoma following a treatment that boosted his immune system to fight the tumors.

Melanoma is a cancer of the skin cells that produce tanning pigments. When caught early, melanomas can be easily treated by surgically removing the cancerous patch of skin. But advanced melanoma is often deadly.

About 20 years ago, scientists discovered that immune cells could latch onto and attack skin cancers. For this treatment, researchers drew blood from the patient, extracted special helper immune cells and then grew more of them in the laboratory. They then infused a massive dose of the newly grown cells back into the patient, without using chemotherapy or the other harsh drugs.


* June 24, 2008

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