They eliminate a breast cancer with metastases thanks to the patient's own cells

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A 49-year-old woman with metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer – against whom different chemotherapy regimens did not work – was enrolled in a clinical trial designed to mediate tumor regression in patients with epithelial cancers who They develop metastases. The authors of the trial, members of the United States National Cancer Institute , modified the patient's immune system to completely eliminate their cancer cells. The results are published this week in Nature Medicine.

This is the first successful application of T-cell immunotherapy for breast cancer in a late stage

According to researchers, this is the first successful application of T -Cell immunotherapy – a type of white blood cell – for late-stage breast cancer. "This means a possible treatment for the last stage of tumors in which all conventional therapies have failed." The most successful clinical immunotherapeutic approaches to treat cancer are the blocking of immune control points and adoptive cell therapy. In the first, T-cells are activated within the patient's body through injected antibodies.

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In the last, T cells are taken from the patient's blood or tumor mass, and only those who recognize the cancer are cultivated and then re-introduced to the patient. the success of these approaches varies greatly among the types of tumours. In fact, so far clinical trials using immune control point inhibitors had proven ineffective in treating breast cancer.

At least three companies are already working to develop this treatment commercially.

"We need a new paradigm for cancer therapy," explained the study's lead author, since Steven a. Rosenberg. "Highly personalized treatments are likely to be necessary if we are to progress in the treatment of common tumors." For Rosenberg, this concept of highly individualized therapies (a unique medicine for each patient) may be what is needed to treat cancer effectively. "The complexity of treatment scares many oncologists who think it's not practical. However, at least three companies are already working to develop it commercially. "

Two years free of sickness

In this work, the scientists isolated and reactivated the T-cells of this patient whose metastatic breast cancer was progressing despite the therapies used. These reactivated T-cells eliminated all metastatic lesions, leaving the woman free of disease after two years of treatment.

The results should be confirmed in larger and controlled clinical trials

The authors have performed a molecular characterization of this targeted therapy, which helps to stop the growth and spread of cancer by attacking specific proteins or genes. As they conclude in the study, this allows them to "estimate high probabilities of success in other breast cancer patients, although it should be confirmed in larger and controlled clinical trials."

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