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Potential cancer cure: Exciting new treatment approved for trial

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Exciting new cancer treatment ready for human trials

Researchers have discovered a new and exciting cancer treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to help fight the disease. But for many health care discoveries, and in this instance, one promising cancer clinical trial, funds are needed.


Other than funding from the National Institutes of Health,which is sparse, or insurance companies who don't reimburse for clinical trials, researchers have to rely on public and philanthropic donations to test potentially life-saving therapies.

New cancer protocol approved by FDA ‘super charges’ the immune system

One such protocol that’s been approved by the FDA and WIRB (Western Institutional Review Board) involves giving patients specialty blood cells called granulocytes – a type of white blood cell - donated by healthy young people between the ages of 18 to 25, who are carefully screened.

Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj, Director of the South Florida Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Institute in Boynton Beach, Florida, who is a hematologist and oncologist, is leading clinical trials to help patients with solid tumors of breast, cervical, stomach, pancreas and lung cancer and melanoma.

Maharaj explains when cancer arises it’s because the immune system is ‘broken down’. Chemotherapy shrinks cancer, but after a period of remission, cancer returns. Cancer stays dormant and later can grow, divide and spread, years after treatment.

The idea of the exciting new cancer protocol is to get the immune system charged up to to kill cancer.

But without funding, we would only know if the protocol can really cure cancer. Funding from the NIH is difficult to obtain and insurance companies don’t reimburse for clinical trials.

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Maharaj explains in an e-mail press release, “A characteristic of a metastatic cancer cell is the way it divides into twins. One of the twins will actually begin to form tissues while the other twin lies dormant. The standard therapy for treating metastatic tumors is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy will kill a certain number of tumor cells and those cells may shrink, so it will look as though you’re making progress, but with the immune system weak, the dormant twin can begin to form new tumors, which is why these cancers often return.”

Maharaj is trying to raise the funds needed for human clinical trials from philanthropists and the public to test the possible cancer cure on humans. In an effort to spread the word, the Institute has launched a new website.

Scientists already know there is much potential for fighting cancer using the body’s own immune system. A recent news release from Johns Hopkins scientists, published in the New England Journal of Medicine June 2, 2012, announced success of two drugs used in Phase 1 clinical trials that block proteins that shield cancer cells from the immune system.

Funding for the Hopkins clinical studies came from Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. Research support and grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Melanoma Research Alliance.

In the study, Five of 49 (10 percent) non-small cell lung cancer patients, nine of 52 (17 percent) melanoma patients, and two of 17 (12 percent) kidney cancer patients responded.

It may be possible that boosting the immune system with what’s known as the CKA granulocyte study protocol could cure solid tumor cancers, using the body’s own natural defense.. Visit www.ZapCancer.org to learn more about the new potential cancer treatment or to donate.


Image credit: Wikimedia commons