Immunotherapy uses the body’s immune system to beat cancer, and the same immune-based therapy has reportedly helped a patient with advanced brain cancer.
Researchers around the globe have long been using immunotherapy for beating blood cancers like lymphomas and leukemias, but it has yet to be approved for treating brain cancer.
Following a successful experiment, researchers at the City of Hope Beckman Research Institute & Medical Center have announced that patient who tried the therapy is still alive more than a year after receiving the treatment.
The 50-year old male patient with brain cancer glioblastoma had already been treated with anti-tumor drug, surgery and radiation, but his brain tumor continued to spread. Behnam Badie and his team extracted immune cells from the patient, and engineered them to express certain proteins on their surface.
After surgically removing the bulk of the brain tumor, the researchers directly injected the tumor site with the modified immune cells (called chimeric antigen receptor T cells) half a dozen times, and the remaining part of the tumor stopped growing.
Sharing the results, Badie said, “I believe these recent results show we have a potential breakthrough treatment that may have a remarkable impact on patients with malignant brain tumors.”
The researchers reported the success of the experimental brain cancer treatment in the New England Journal of Medicine.