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Thursday, August 31st 2006

The Red Headed Step Child Shows Some Promise

Finally. Gene therapy has been used as part of a successful treatment for two patients with melanoma in a study. Here is the Los Angeles Times on it. Despite the promise it comes with caveats:

They added that there is still more failure than success with the technique. Fifteen other melanoma patients enrolled in the study failed to show sustained improvement from the modified immune cells.

The article quotes some outside oncologists with some encouraging words,

“The important thing is this approach worked,” said Dr. Margaret Kemeny, director of the Queens Cancer Center of the Queens Hospital in New York. “Can they make this approach work more often? That is the question.”

And then drops this bomb shell of scientific accuracy on us, so that we may all wonder at the credibility of the entire peice and just how much fluff went into it,

Rosenberg had previously discovered that some melanoma patients are able to generate a type of immune cell, called T cells, that recognize the tumor cells as unwanted intruders and respond by attacking them.

Yeah those melanoma patients are the only one’s making T Cells…Luckily here’s a link to the actual publication in Science and a WebMD article which might be slightly more in tune.