Skip to comments.New Treatment Uses Modified HIV To Kill Lymphoma Cancer Cells
Posted on 03/23/2014 3:46:29 PM PDT by BenLurkin
DUARTE (CBSLA.com) Deana Campbell was 48 years old when she was told she had the same disease that claimed her fathers life.
She was diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer that targets lymphocyte cells working in the bodys immune system.
I had two small kids and I was very much ready for a fight, the Inland Empire resident said.
Still, Campbell says she was thrown for a loop.
She and her sister, both registered nurses, knew it was critical to seek treatment immediately.
Campbell turned to City of Hope Hospital where she underwent five successful months of chemotherapy.
The tumor dissolved immediately and I was in remission for 30 months, Campbell said.
But the lymphoma returned.
So doctors suggested an unconventional treatment that takes a patients extracted lymphocyte cells and injects them with a crippled strain of HIV programmed to seek out and kill cancerous cells.
Dr. Stephen Forman heads up clinical trial at the City of Hope. Campbell was only the fifth patient to undergo this treatment.
We were worried from the get-go. Even though a transplant may have helped her, we needed to try to improve her odds. So we proposed this trial to her, Forman said.
The treatment targets the bodys T cells, a component of the immune system that fights infections or anything else that threatens the body. First, blood is collected from the patient and T cells are separated. Those cells are combined with a modified version of the virus HIV, which has all the disease-causing components removed and replaced with cancer-fighting genes. Forman says these T cells are given the ability to recognize and attack lymphoma cells. The cells are grown to larger quantities, tested for safety and injected back into the body.
It gets pretty complex. We believe it is just the beginning of what we believe is an effective therapy to treat cancer in the same way that surgery, chemotherapy or radiation has been used in the past, Forman said.
The experimental treatment and mention of the HIV virus may have seemed intimidating but Campbell said she jumped right into treatment and keep her focus on the future.
There really wasnt anything to think about. I know that if nobody says yes, we cant build hope, she said.
Although its too early to say if this is a cure, the treatment is showing great promise.
Its fascinating, exciting. Its dramatic, Forman said. I mean the drama of seeing somebody going through any remission from any therapy, much less from T cells, takes your breath away. And you get to send them home.
Campbell has been cancer-free for almost a year. After being a part of the trial she is confident shes won the fight at least for now.
You put one foot in front of the other as best as you can. Dont lose hope. Dont lose faith. We are all living one day at a time, Campbell said.
Yes, we are.
And thank God for modern medicine and its practitioners.
How in the heck can they do this but they can’t use the same techniques to make an HIV vaccine?
Eggszachery! That was my first question also! :)
It sure does. Pretty clever stuff they're doing.
It gets pretty complex.”
Understatement of the year candidate.
I hope that this works, but it strikes me as something that could go very bad very quickly.
though in a way you’re close. they have ided some surface proteins or sugars (I forget which) that seem to be common to all viral particle walls. A mad dash is going on to produce the first common virus killer, HIV, or the common cold doesn’t matter. HepC curable now but your looking at 100k. when you have a universal cure its asprin, cheap and easy to make money on, after the developer has been paid.
Why do you say that?
Great news. Researchers have been dreaming of using a virus to attack cancer cells for decades.
What if the modified HIV starts destroying non-cancerous cells too?
Those cells are combined with a modified version of the virus HIV, which has all the disease-causing components removed and replaced with cancer-fighting genes. Forman says these T cells are given the ability to recognize and attack lymphoma cells.
T-cells won't attack native cells of the body unless an auto-immune disorder is present. No reason to think this treatment would cause an auto-immune disorder.
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