Yep, you read that correctly. A 52 year old man was cancer free after scientists took some of the man’s own anti-cancer cells, cloned them, and sent the clone troopers back in to fight the cancer. Two years later the melanoma (skin cancer, which can be very aggressive) was gone!
There are several geekily neat things about this:
- Science is using the body’s own defenses, in this case a special variety of T cell, that was attuned to the specific cancer.
- Cloning, which really doesn’t seem to be a big deal in this kind of situation since it’s single cells from a person’s body which were then sent back in. In this case 5 billion cloned cells were sent back in after harvesting just a few cells from a blood sample.
- A successful new arena of cancer treatment – and this doesn’t involve drugs, radiation or surgery – that may open doors to many new cancer treatments. Melanoma is, they say, a cancer they felt was easy to treat this way so it was chosen as the test case, the proof of concept; but now that the concept has been proved many will start working on other cancers.
But you want to know more, right? Well, these two articles from Britain, where the experiment was carried out, will give you all the public info on the situation: