I only hope that this is true.

While it sounds like the stuff of science fiction, a cancer treatment in which a patient’s own cells are engineered to hunt down and wipe out their disease — and then linger in the body to stop the cancer returning — is helping to save patients’ lives.
The results of the treatment, known as CAR T-cell therapy, have been astonishing.
Patients who had exhausted all other options and been told they had just months to live have gone into remission. Others have even been cured by the one-off dose.

As someone who has been touched — twice* — by cancer, you have no idea how big this is to me.

Keep it going, guys.

*Imaginary Wife (Connie) died of ovarian cancer, and New Wife is a survivor of endometrial cancer.


  1. #metoo – Both parents died of cancer, which means I probably will as well*.

    *unless I’m shot by a jealous husband while I’m climbing out his wife’s bedroom window.

    1. That last is how I want to die, too. At age 98, at the hands of the jealous boyfriend of my lover, a girl a mere fifth of my age. Better than getting hit by a bus at that age, which is how my grandfather’s Uncle died.

  2. Its all-in-all good, but if it even has a whiff of potential harm to Big Pharma, it will be lauded as dangerous, harmful to life, and some other made-up hobgoblin to raise faux-doubt.

    Klein-Smith, Bayer, Astra-Zenica, et al get BIG MONEY for their cancer ‘cures’ and regimens. Much like Big Oil fighting off better engines and economy measures, they will fight like cornered wolverines to protect their revenue source (and could care less if they live or die – as long as someone pays).

    And, probably protected by the CDC\NIH ‘In the Public Interest’…

  3. It’s very real.

    It’s very effective, being tailored to each patient.

    It’s ungodly expensive.

    The side effects can be absolutely horrendous.

    I work for one of the largest specialty pharmacy management companies in the world, and it’s been amazing to read the studies and patient reports. My own wife had cancer, but a type without any CAR-T therapy available to it. Hers is also extremely likely to recur, so I’m praying that a CAR-T therapy is developed before it does as she’s not likely to survive another round of chemoradiation.

    1. It seems to have a potential for Autoimmune disorders on steroids.

  4. It’s not science fiction. It’s been deployed at small scale at larger centers like Mass General for a couple of years now. The biggest problem is that the treatment is individualized to the patient. It literally has to take genetic material from the patient, modify it, grow that out, and infuse it back, so the costs involved are eyewateringly high. Well over $500k per treatment. The developers of the technology have been working on scaling down the process to the point where it could be done on-site at the hospital level, which should drop costs even further, but that’s still years away. It will probably follow a similar curve to those systems for blood chemistry testing, where they were tens of millions of dollars, and now every Doc-in-a-box can have one on the bench for $100k and the consumables cost is negligible.

  5. Yup, it is true. I have a buddy who was part of the experimental trials on it, and it’s the only reason he’s still alive.

  6. Used to work a lab company that was part of this kind of research. The wildly oversimplified version of what they were working on:
    1. Draw and genetically test healthy cells from patient
    2. Draw and test the cancerous cells
    3. Determine the genetic differences between the healthy and cancerous cells
    4. Taylor treatment to kill only the cancerous cells

    Pretty wild stuff if the prices can come down. My father died of leukemia way too early.

  7. Milady and I flew to Houston to have the biopsies for her pancreatic cancer, so that they would have her tissue in case we could get her into one of these studies. I know that we tried everything possible for her, but it is still a bit of a sore spot that a treatment like that wasn’t available for her. (I know that you have to be responding to chemo for the trials because the treatments are SO expensive, but still….)

    As I heard a doctor say one time (paraphrased), “My grandkids will ask me how we treated cancers in the early 2000s, and when I tell them about chemo and radiation, they’ll look at me the same way we’d look at a witch doctor with leaches and bloodletting.”

  8. And no doubt the same idiots claiming that covid vaccines are “genetically engineering you” to “be good slaves” are going to say the same about this…

    I’ve been hearing about such treatments for cancer for a few years now, but never heard that they were actually using it and successfully.

    1. CAR-T is limited to blood cancers for now. Once they figure it, or something like it, out for solid tumors, it’s going to be absolutely revolutionary.

      1. Ya. A lot of the most promising stuff being done with the mRNA platforms is relatively low-cost, fast turnaround custom cancer bits. Awesome platforms now that we’re figuring out how that shit works.

  9. T-cells…….like those thingies that say you’ve already had the WuFlu, and have survived….
    but still have to wear a mask?

  10. I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer, 11 months ago ( gave up smoking 16 years ago and still got it). Conventional treatment gave me 5% chance of being alive at 11 months. They tested the tumor for a specific marker, which prevents the body from recognizing the tumor as “foreign”, therefore no natural immune response. I tested very high for the marker, so in addition to the chemo (horrible stuff), I was given a new immunotherapy called pembromizulab (Keytruda). Two scans later and there is no longer any tumor – nothing; wiped out! WOW is right, Kim.

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