What Is Blood Cancer or Leukemia?
Leukemia is cancer that forms in blood-forming tissues, including bone marrow. There are many types of leukemia and require medical diagnosis by a medical professional. It is treatable but lab tests or imaging is always required to find out what kind of Leukemia it is.
For many years, cancer was treated by chemotherapy, surgery or radiation therapy. There have been many blood cancer medicines that target cancer cells by aimed at specific molecular changes that are seen primarily on cells and have been used in standard treatments for many cancers.
Immuno-therapy, a new type of therapy developed over the last few years can strengthen the power of the patient’s immune system to attack tumors and has emerged in the cancer community as a game-changing cancer treatment and is different from generic blood cancer medicines.
A Rapidly emerging approach to immune-therapy cancer treatment is called adoptive cell transfer or ACT, Which uses the patient’s own immune cells to treat cancer in their bodies. There are several different types of ACT but the furthest in clinical development that has advanced the most is called CAR T-cell therapy.
How Effective Is It?
Just recently, the use of car t-cell therapy has been only restricted to small clinical trials and used in patients that have advanced blood cancers. But still, these treatments have captured the attention of researchers and the public because of the astounding responses that have been produced in some of the patients. Both children and adults seem to recover while all other treatments had stopped working.
In 2017, the FDA or the food and drug administration approved two car t-cell therapies. One was for the treatment of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and another was for adults with advanced lymphomas. But still, researchers are researching the treatment because it is still in its early days and question whether it might be effective against solid tumors like colorectal cancer or breast cancer.
There are different forms of the act and are still being developed. Steven Rosenberg, m.d., ph.d., surgery branch’s chief, in NCI’s center for cancer research was a pioneer in immunotherapy whose lab was the first to report that immunotherapy had successful treatments for cancer with the help of car t-cells. And now after painstaking research and several decades of development, this field has finally reached its tipping point, which means that the progress of activities and other CAR T-cells have greatly accelerated and now researchers have a better understanding of how these therapies will work in patience and are transferring that knowledge into improvements which are tested and are being developed. In the next few years what people thought was impossible might now be a reality with the help of these adoptive cell transfer-based treatments. These cells are synthetic molecules and do not exist naturally. These engineered cells can further multiply in the patient’s body and with the help of an engineered receptor, it can recognize and kill cancer cells that have the antigen on the cell surfaces.
Research on CAR T-cells is continuing at an impressive pace and patience with blood cancers seems to recover. It is now being tested in patients with solid tumors and clinical trials are being expanded dramatically. These treatments might take over FDA-approved blood cancer medicines and provide a better solution.