journal Science in its December issue, focuses his attention on the fact that this year marks a turning point in the fight against cancer. The efforts, until now the facts, in order to unleash the immune system against tumors are paying off, even if the future still has many question marks.
Science you ask a few questions concerning the immunotherapy and ask us if you are risking too much advertising is a therapeutic approach whose ultimate impact remains unknown.
If in reality we are not irresponsible talking about a shift to a strategy that has involved a tiny fraction of cancer patients and has given an effective contribution to only some of them.
And finally, Science asks, “what do we mean when we call something a turning point?
at The end of his analysis, concludes Science, the use of immunotherapy to fight cancer passes the test, and he does this becauseé this year, clinical trials have cemented its potential in patients and have begun to change the positions of the skeptics.
But what is immunotherapy?
it is a technique to train our immune system to attack the tumor that is in us and in this way it acts as the fourth weapon in our possession in the fight against cancer after the surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
The history of immunotherapy as a fundamental element in the fight against cancer begins from the experiments and from studies of an immunologist James Allison, now at the Università of Texas Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Allison was the party from the studios of the French researchers in the late 1980’s, who, during a study, not focused on cancer, identified a new protein receptor on the surface of the T cells, called CTLA-4.
Allison byì that the CTLA-4 acting as a deterrent to the activitiesà of the T cells, and prevented them from launching attacks immune full-out. He wondered if blocking the molecule CTLA-4 would have been possible to set the immune system in a way that was “free” to destroy the cancer.
The idea of Allison è been long tested, and its approach has permanently changed the conversation, and the words of one cancer researcher, causing him to consider immunosuppression as a focal point, and manipulation of immunosuppression as the target.
The stories of incredible successes had in the fight against cancer are always più, as a woman who had a tumor, melanoma, and a replica as big as a grapefruit in his lung, and it is alive and healthy after 13 years.
But also for that of 6-year old child came close to death from leukemia, and now, in the third grade, is in remission, or, finally, the man with the kidney cancer metastatic whose disease is disappeared completely after treatment with immunosuppression.
The battle against cancer, according to Science, not will becomeà the “Vietnam of the Science.”
gone Are the più of the 40 years since u.s. president Richard Nixon emanò the National Cancer ActW, which launched the war on cancer to find a cure by strengthening and supporting scientific research to improve the understanding of the biology of tumors and the development of treatments più effective.
Well, the cancer is not è yet been defeated, but much we have learned in these years.
there are No lethal weapons, there are battles final fight in the Ardennes, not c’è actuallyà not even a war according to Clausewitz, but a long guerrilla war that has made us move forward a small step at a time, and now, if the assumptions, such as the immunotherapy will become statistics solid and reliable, we will have taken a further and important step.
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21 December 2013