New research shows potential of T-cell therapy for advanced cancer

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

New research has highlighted the previously unknown benefits that T-cell therapy can provide for people with highly advanced forms of cancer.

Data discussed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's annual meeting has indicated that this new immuno-oncology technique can help blood cancer patients to achieve remission.

“T-cell therapy could potentially provide new hope for patients with advanced cancer, according to new research.“

In one of the showcased studies, 94 per cent of participants with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia saw their symptoms abate completely, while patients with other blood cancers had response rates greater than 80 per cent and more than half saw complete remission.

The tests conducted so far have only targeted certain blood cancers, meaning further research is needed to assess how the technique could be applied to other tumour types.

However, the current results indicated that using the immune system's T-cells to fight off cancer could offer new hope for patients who have failed all other forms of treatment.

Researcher Dr Stanley Riddell, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, said: "Most of the patients in our trial would be projected to have two to five months to live. This is extraordinary. This is unprecedented in medicine, to be honest - to get response rates in this range in these very advanced patients."

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