Non-Chemo Cancer Treatment, Simple as Flu Shot, Moves Closer to Reality

In In The News by Barbara Jacoby

By: Terry Turner


Imagine treating cancer as easily as taking a monthly shot in the arm.

Doctors in Texas have been cleared to move forward with another round of human trials on a “cancer vaccine” that turns a deadly disease into a chronic one that can be more easily treated — allowing patients to live far longer.

It’s a form of immunotherapy that eliminates the need for chemotherapy and other difficult treatments — allowing cancer to be treated like diabetes or hypertension.

“We don’t cure, but we control the disease,” Dr. Maurizio Ghisoli told KTVT News.

The immune system doesn’t recognize cancer cells on its own, so it needs outside help to attack the disease. With this particular type of immunotherapy, doctors create a personal shot for each patient. They take cells from the patient’s tumor, modify them so the immune system can attack the cancer, then re-inject the cells back into the body.

Monthly doses allow the immune system to keep cancer growth in check.

Researchers at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Texas have been working on the experimental treatment for two decades. They have used it to control a wide range of cancers including throat and ovarian cancer and Ewing’s Sarcoma, a fast-spreading bone cancer that typically targets children, teens, and young adults.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved more extensive human trials on the Baylor treatment and the “cancer vaccine” could be available in four to five years.