New therapies are being developed that use the immune system to eliminate all traces of the disease.
Last Sunday, February 4th marked not only the 52nd Super Bowl, but also World Cancer Day.
Since most of us, (or many), were focused on gathering snacks like squirrels and gluing ourselves to the screen for the duration of that fantastic game, you might have missed it. Here’s the scoop.
According to the organization’s website, there are currently 8.8 million people who die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million people die prematurely (aged 30 to 69 years). And many who develop the disease survive.
World Cancer Day was first established by the Paris Charter adopted at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millenium in Paris on 4 February 2000. It aims to promote research to find a cure and further understand prevention, as well as mobilize the global community.
Over 870 activities were planned worldwide to help celebrate and those who did, no doubt felt united in a cause close to the hearts of many. But are we any closer to finding a cure?
Sort of. Studies focused on furthering our understanding cancer and why it develops seem to be published daily. One of the more striking that’s come up lately revolves around the development of a cancer vaccine.
It’s seems impossible but it actually works, so far.
Mice at the Stanford University School of Medicine had immune-stimulating agents injected directly into solid tumors in their body. The agents successfully eliminated all traces of cancer in their bodies. It even targeted distant, untreated metastases far away from the injection site.
Wonderfully, this treatment worked for many types of cancer, researchers found.
“When we use these two agents together, we see the elimination of tumors all over the body,” said Ronald Levy, MD, professor of oncology. “This approach bypasses the need to identify tumor-specific immune targets,” he added.
For now, it’s a bit of a waiting game, as further research needs to be done to implement using immunotherapy across the board. But the future looks good. It’s just a matter of getting there.
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