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Friday, September 21st 2007

Toot Your Own Horn?

Even if you truly believed you were on the verge of the greatest medical breakthrough in history, wouldn’t you keep expectations somewhat reasonable until you had your definitive results?

Maybe apparently that is just my mindset though, as we’ve got a declaration of a cure for cancer

Dr Zheng Cui, of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, has shown in laboratory experiments that immune cells from some people can be almost 50 times more effective in fighting cancer than in others.

Dr Cui, whose work is highlighted in this week’s New Scientist magazine, has previously shown cells from mice found to be immune to cancer can be used to cure ordinary mice with tumours.

The work raises the prospect of using cancer-killing immune system cells called granulocytes from donors to significantly boost a cancer patient’s ability to fight their disease, and potentially cure them.

“If this is half as effective in humans as it is in mice it could be that half of patients could be cured or at least given one to two years extra of high quality life.

“The technology needed to do this already exists, so if it works in humans we could save a lot of lives, and we could be doing so within two years.”

Dr Cui is confident patients could benefit from the technique quickly because the technology used to extract granulocytes is the same as that already used by hospitals to obtain other blood components such as plasma or platelets.

Okay Dr. Cui doesn’t go quite that far but I’m not sure I’d be throwing the word cure around so freely just yet. That’s a tainted word when it comes to cancer.

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