Updated: Dec 11, 2020
Dr. Stephen Rosenberg of the National Cancer Institute has made a breakthrough in treating metastatic breast cancer with patients achieving full remission. After many years of research Dr. Rosenberg was able to harvest the immune cells known as T cells from his patient. His new approach to immunotherapy has resulted in a complete response in breast cancer patient unresponsive to other treatments. Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., is chief of the Surgery Branch at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR), and his findings were published June 4, 2018 in Nature Medicine. NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health.
“We’ve developed a high-throughput method to identify mutations present in a cancer that are recognized by the immune system,” Dr. Rosenberg said. In clinical trials, researchers tested different TILs from a patient to find those that recognized one or more of these mutated proteins. The TILs that recognize the mutant proteins, are grown in a lab and infused back into the patient. This treatment is exciting for many reasons. Study participants remain cancer free decades after receiving a grim prognosis, and this treatment can be used for all types of cancer.
Here is a video excerpt from the PBS Special on Cancer, “The Empress of all Maladies”.