MIT Biologists Rejuvenating Cancer Patient T-Cells

stinger608

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This is an interesting read for sure:

https://news.mit.edu/2021/dendritic-t-cells-tumors-1119
If this actually can work, it could save thousands of cancer patients throughout the world.

Under the right circumstances, the body’s T cells can detect and destroy cancer cells. However, in most cancer patients, T cells become disarmed once they enter the environment surrounding a tumor.



"Scientists are now trying to find ways to help treat patients by jumpstarting those lackluster T cells. Much of the research in this field, known as cancer immunotherapy, has focused on finding ways to stimulate those T cells directly. MIT researchers have now uncovered a possible new way to indirectly activate those T cells, by recruiting a population of helper immune cells called dendritic cells."

Later in the article, they go on to say:


"When tumors begin to form, they produce cancerous proteins that T cells recognize as foreign. This sometimes allows T cells to eliminate tumors before they get very large. In other cases, tumors are able to secrete chemical signals that deactivate T cells, allowing the tumors to continue growing unchecked.



Dendritic cells are known to help activate tumor-fighting T cells, but there are many different subtypes of dendritic cells, and their individual roles in T cell activation are not fully characterized. In this study, the MIT team wanted to investigate which types of dendritic cells are involved in T cell responses that successfully eliminate tumors."
 

DukenukemX

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I'm all for new methods to treating cancer but for a while now we've had immunotherapy which has proven to work, though not 100% like most cancer treatments anyway. Instead we stick with feeding you poison called chemotherapy which wrecks havoc on your body. Even if you survive the cancer you may not survive the chemo. I know too many people who just stopped eating and died as a result probably due to chemotherapy. Immunotherapy doesn't have these problems, other than any doctor you ask who does perform it wants half a million dollars. I kinda feel like the reason immunotherapy isn't an option is because hospitals spent too much money on chemotherapy and radiation treatments that switching over to something like immunotherapy would give them far less return for the money they spent on the equipment.

While rejuvenating cancer patient T-Cells sounds awesome I can't help but wonder which rich person gets access to it's treatment while the rest of us continues to drink chemo poison.
 

DocNo

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While rejuvenating cancer patient T-Cells sounds awesome I can't help but wonder which rich person gets access to it's treatment while the rest of us continues to drink chemo poison.
I think the real issue with treatments like this is figuring out how to move stuff out of the lab and deploy it at scale.
We need an Elon Musk type personality to take on alternative treatments in medicine. The other problem is the medical field is so ridiculously over-regulated, at least here in the US, even if an Elon type personality were to emerge it's doubtful if they would be able to cut through the bureaucratic red tape before getting ground down. Just looking at what the fitness tracker/digital watch companies have to jump through while stressing they are not producing medical devices is maddening.
 

Tengis

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I think the real issue with treatments like this is figuring out how to move stuff out of the lab and deploy it at scale.
We need an Elon Musk type personality to take on alternative treatments in medicine. The other problem is the medical field is so ridiculously over-regulated, at least here in the US, even if an Elon type personality were to emerge it's doubtful if they would be able to cut through the bureaucratic red tape before getting ground down. Just looking at what the fitness tracker/digital watch companies have to jump through while stressing they are not producing medical devices is maddening.
It's my understanding there are various alternative effective treatments for many things that are just over the border in Mexico.
 

DocNo

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It's my understanding there are various alternative effective treatments for many things that are just over the border in Mexico.
I almost went there.
Pretty sad, really. All this government "protection" pretty severely limits the options available to us in the USA.
 

sfsuphysics

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While rejuvenating cancer patient T-Cells sounds awesome I can't help but wonder which rich person gets access to it's treatment while the rest of us continues to drink chemo poison.
Yeah which insurance company is going to pay for it while there is a "perfectly acceptable" alternative available.

Although the other side of that coin is jumping on the treatment cost side of things and why things end up costing so much, as some biotech firm or some hedge fund has record profits as a result probably
 

DocNo

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Yeah which insurance company is going to pay for it while there is a "perfectly acceptable" alternative available.
I dunno - I only have insurance for major medical and have a health savings account. Anything I put in it is pre-tax and anything I spend out of it is tax free if used for health care. As soon as it got over $10K in it I could direct how and where the money in it is invested. I pay cash for the vast majority of my healthcare needs, and I pay half to a third of what gets billed to insurance companies.
The overhead of insurance companies sucks just as bad as the overhead from ridiculous government overregulation, yet most people can't be bothered to do more than just take what's shoved at them by default from their employer.

I mean it's only your health; nothing important :p
 

sleepeeg3

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I'm all for new methods to treating cancer but for a while now we've had immunotherapy which has proven to work, though not 100% like most cancer treatments anyway. Instead we stick with feeding you poison called chemotherapy which wrecks havoc on your body. Even if you survive the cancer you may not survive the chemo. I know too many people who just stopped eating and died as a result probably due to chemotherapy. Immunotherapy doesn't have these problems, other than any doctor you ask who does perform it wants half a million dollars. I kinda feel like the reason immunotherapy isn't an option is because hospitals spent too much money on chemotherapy and radiation treatments that switching over to something like immunotherapy would give them far less return for the money they spent on the equipment.

While rejuvenating cancer patient T-Cells sounds awesome I can't help but wonder which rich person gets access to it's treatment while the rest of us continues to drink chemo poison.
Genomics also key to matching patients to specific immunotherapy and other other drugs. For years, there have been FDA approved blood tests to target tumors BEFORE they spread and when the tumor is biopsied. Doctors and patients need to be more aware of these options. A survery of oncologists showed only 75% of oncologists are doing any genetic testing, let alone doing genomic tumor profiling. If you know anyone with cancer, ask their doctors to do tumor profiling and tumor monitoring!!!

Chemo should be a last resort, but instead doctors are using some of the same treatments they have used since the 50's. It's depressing.
 
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