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Sounds like just another form of chemo where the question what dies first, the cancer or the patient?
Frankly, artemisinin is a far better treatment as it cuts off the iron supply to the cancer cells, triggering apoptosis because the iron requirements to cancer cells is far higher than normal cells, which remain unaffected. This has been shown in research by Dr. Cuoto at Ohio State for several years going.
Not surprisingly, small molecule therapeutics are now targeting p53-null cancers, such as DIPG, developed at Mitergy.
Could you please give me some more information? Thank you. Helena
I am a cancer nurse at a center does CAR-T and I remain deeply ambivalent. What the author does not go into is that most studies on “survivors” are no more than 13 months out. I understand that seems like progress in a fatal cancer, but remember the other statistics: only 40% survive without impairment. Would you sell your house (the $300k cost) to live another year? What if you relapse in eight months, as one of our patients did? What if you lived, but had to be in a nursing home and couldn’t speak clearly or feed yourself? At what cost are those extra months to you, if you spend two days a week at a clinic, and a week every month at the hospital for complications? And though the drug companies scoff at the price, feeling it is in line with other life-prolonging drugs, health care costs continue to rise, in part because we as a nation are accepting 2 months increase in survivorship as acceptable improvement in new drug therapies. I feel like we are–as always–chasing cures without thinking of consequences, and all because we are afraid of the end of life.
My wife an I have these discussions periodically. You are absolutely correct with our thinking on this same topic. At what cost is freedom and having a full life just endure it for a few minutes or months or years? I applaud the entire research efforts no doubt but at what human cost will my family incur from it after were gone?
Cancer cured is not defined. Clinical trials of cancer treatments are designed, written, approved, completed, analyzed, and reported without a definition of cured, without a test for cured. Everyone is studying cancer, “searching for a cure”. Nobody is studying cure.
I think your article is behind the times. Yes, it’s true that the first CAR-T treatments killed patients, so does cancer. However you are incorrect in stating “Once the cells are in, they can’t turn off”. China is already engineering CAR-T cells with kill switches. If a scientist can use a viral vector to engineer T cells to search for a particular antigen, it frankly isn’t much harder to engineer in a kill switch either. They’re also engineering cells with multiple targets, to reduce the chance of relapse from antigen escape. The United States needs to stop focusing only on commercially viable pharmaceutical products.
I’m glad you prefer slow steps of finding proof of concept, safety and efficacy. It’s not like patients are dying in the meantime. Thankfully the concept of medical tourism is becoming more mainstream and people can get better treatment elsewhere for literally hundreds of thousands less.
the same research is happening in the USA at almost every cancer institute and many biotech companies. check out obsidian therapeutics for a good example of this.
The problem with kill switches is that by the time a serious toxicity has developed, ablation of the CAR T cells cannot reverse the toxicity. The trick will be to uncouple the therapeutic mechanism from the runaway systemic inflammatory reaction.
Actually, the solution is easier than that. Ziopharm and Intrexon have already provided clinical proof that t-cell gene modification with a rheostat switch that turns on gene expression only in the presence of an orally taken ligand works, with expression related to the amount of the oral ligand taken, and with expression quickly dropping to non-clinical levels in the absence of the oral ligand. They have reported the ability to quickly resolve cytotoxic storms breast and GB cancers treated with IL12 by simply reducing or stopping the ligand.