New immune therapy reduces late-stage pancreatic cancer in women, reports NEJM

A Florida woman with advanced pancreatic cancer who persuaded scientists to treat her with an experimental immune-boosting therapy has seen her tumors shrink dramatically. Kathy Wilkes received pioneering T cell receptor, or TCR, therapy last June and appears to have overcome the often incurable disease. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the therapy is designed to harness the immune system to create “living drugs” that can target and destroy tumors. “It’s really exciting. This is the first time this kind of treatment has worked in a very hard-to-treat type of cancer,” said Josh Veatch of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, who was not involved in the trial. experience, told The Associated Press. Wilkes, of Ormond Beach, tracked down researchers from Oregon to volunteer for the treatment. “I knew that regular chemotherapy wouldn’t save my life and I was going there to save her,” she said.

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