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New Immunity-boosting Drug Helps Body Kill Cancer 

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Old 08-11-2013, 03:29 PM
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New Immunity-boosting Drug Helps Body Kill Cancer

Scientists at the University of Southampton have developed the treatment in an attempt to tackle cancers, such as those of the pancreas, head and neck, that are particularly hard to deal with using available techniques.
The new drug works by increasing the ability of the immune system to recognise and attack tumours.
Recent research has suggested that many cancers can switch off immune cells, leaving them unable to follow their natural course of attacking the tumour and stopping its growth.
The new drug, which is called ChiLob 7/4, turns these cells back on and increases their numbers. By giving patients a vaccine at the same time that can train these immune cells to target cancer, doctors say they can focus the immune system’s attacks on the tumour.
A trial of 26 patients with pancreatic cancer has already shown encouraging results and now the scientists are to start a £5 million European Union funded trial of the new treatment next year.

Prof Martin Glennie, a cancer specialist who has led the research at the University of Southampton, said: “What we are finding is there are a whole spectrum of receptors on immune cells that switch them on and off.
“Some cancers are able to switch the immune cells off. We have been working on a drug that effectively puts the foot on the accelerator to rev up the immune system.
"If we use this with a vaccine we can steer the immune cells and train them to target the cancer.”
The drug is the latest in an emerging field of cancer treatment known as immunotherapy that attempts to exploit the patient’s own immune system to tackle tumours rather than relying upon chemotherapy or radiotherapy to kill the cancer cells.
So far one cancer immunotherapy has been approved for use in patients.
Called Ipilimumab, it effectively reverses the dampening effect of cancer cells on the immune system by switching it back on and has been approved for use against melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
The University of Southampton is now establishing a dedicated Cancer Immunotherapy Centre to carry out research on more of these drugs.
Already scientists there are working on a number of other compounds like ChiLob7-4 that can target cancer in this way.
Professor Glennie said: “Ipilimumab works a bit taking the brakes off part of the immune system called T cells, while our compound revs up the T cells – it is like giving them a caffeine hit.
“We believe this could provide us with some quite wide spectrum treatments, unlike many of the new cancer drugs which are for specific cancers and even individuals. This makes them very expensive.
“We believe many cancers have immune cells in them that are trying to react against the tumour but have been switched off. So if we turn them back on then they should destroy the cancer, especially when used in combination with other treatments.”
Professor Glennie said he hoped ChiLob7-4 could start being used widely in patients within the next five years if the clinical trials are successful.
Pancreatic cancer affects around 9,000 people in the UK each year and has extremely low survival rates – less than four per cent of patients survive for longer than five years.
He added: “We know from our phase one trials that it produces symptoms like the flu, but this is relatively mild compared to the side effects of chemotherapy and disappears once the antibodies have gone away.
“We think these kind of drugs could be particularly useful in difficult to treat cancers but potentially could be used in all cancers.”

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Old 08-11-2013, 04:23 PM
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Re: New Immunity-boosting Drug Helps Body Kill Cancer

Best way to cure any illness is just to aid the bodys natural defences in doing so...bout time they make some progress on this bollox anyway...all those marathons people are running all those charities and were still radiating ourselves to death..pathetic....cancer is a multi billion dollar industry i'm sure somone is stunting the release of a cure somehwere along the line.

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Old 08-13-2013, 02:30 PM
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Re: New Immunity-boosting Drug Helps Body Kill Cancer

good step forward to eliminate this horrible disease

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Old 08-13-2013, 02:39 PM
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Re: New Immunity-boosting Drug Helps Body Kill Cancer

More than just a drug sounds like a training for the immune cells; it's very interesting and promising what they're doing, thanks for the post.

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Old 08-14-2013, 12:40 PM
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Re: New Immunity-boosting Drug Helps Body Kill Cancer

Very promising news! I'm sure someone has lost someone close to them due to cancer. I have lost 2 uncles in the span of 3 years and seeing the debilitating effect on their body was horrible to watch.

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