A new way to attack cancer

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/11/06/almost-a-miracle-untested-designer-cell-therapy-saves-a-baby-close-to-dying-from-cancer/?hpid=hp_no-name_morning-mix-story-d:homepage/story

Such outcomes are always wonderful for the individuals involved, but unfortunately people hear stories like these and ignore all the careful caveats the scientists include about why one anecdote doesn’t prove the treatment works. The treatment may be a miracle, but the same kind of stories have been told countless times before for countless other miracle cures that turned out not to work. Nothing wrong with sharing such stories, of course, but inevitably people will hear only the hope and the outcome for this patient and if the treatment fails in controlled clinical trials years from now, it will be used as another example of how science “flip-flops” and keeps promising miracles it never delivers. Hmmm, guess I’ve become a bit of a cynic. :slight_smile:

I can fully understand Mckenzie’s cynicism. The last half century is replete with hopefully stories of miracle cures that eradicate cancer in the first few patients its used on but then don’t pan out. The problem is that we are not dealing with a single disease. Cancer isn’t one illness but thousands of different diseases that are genetically distinct from each other. For that reason its difficult to develop any single treatment that will be dramatically effective in more than a few cancers or in large numbers of people.
That being said immunotherapy (the category of treatment discussed in this article) presents some of the best prospects for developing customized treatments that can help us address the problem of significant genetic variability between different cancers in different patients.

I’ve been listening to “The Emperor or All Maladies”
http://books.simonandschuster.com/The-Emperor-of-All-Maladies/Siddhartha-Mukherjee/9781439170915
The history of cancer research - fascinating book that looks at the development of cancer therapies,
which included false trails, broken hopes, and a long slough before truly healing advanced started to accumulate.
Fascinating story, very well written, it’s one of this audio books that easy to listen to repeated times, pick up a little more detail with every hearing.
I bring it up because of the title of this thread and because how well this fascinating book describes the difficult path of developing new ways to attack cancer.

Such outcomes are always wonderful for the individuals involved, but unfortunately people hear stories like these and ignore all the careful caveats the scientists include about why one anecdote doesn't prove the treatment works. The treatment may be a miracle, but the same kind of stories have been told countless times before for countless other miracle cures that turned out not to work. Nothing wrong with sharing such stories, of course, but inevitably people will hear only the hope and the outcome for this patient and if the treatment fails in controlled clinical trials years from now, it will be used as another example of how science "flip-flops" and keeps promising miracles it never delivers. Hmmm, guess I've become a bit of a cynic. :-)
Yes, but science never promises miracles. There are no miracles in science. People just attribute miracles to science. Lois
Such outcomes are always wonderful for the individuals involved, but unfortunately people hear stories like these and ignore all the careful caveats the scientists include about why one anecdote doesn't prove the treatment works. The treatment may be a miracle, but the same kind of stories have been told countless times before for countless other miracle cures that turned out not to work. Nothing wrong with sharing such stories, of course, but inevitably people will hear only the hope and the outcome for this patient and if the treatment fails in controlled clinical trials years from now, it will be used as another example of how science "flip-flops" and keeps promising miracles it never delivers. Hmmm, guess I've become a bit of a cynic. :-)
Yes, but science never promises miracles. There are no miracles in science. People just attribute miracles to science. Lois I am well aware that this cannot be a miracle cure, yet that is. But it does show promise in the work of legitimate university scientists and doctors so its worthy of exploration. If this information had been presented by someone selling snake oil out of their car I would never have posted it.

This does look promising. At the very least it is worth more research. I wish it would be in time to help my brother, but these things take time. The media headlines and stories give people false hope for a quick cure.

This does look promising. At the very least it is worth more research. I wish it would be in time to help my brother, but these things take time. The media headlines and stories give people false hope for a quick cure.
Yeah, that's one of the things "Emperor of all Maladies" does quite well, as he following the oh so slow development of therapies with their complications, set backs, insights and breakthroughs and he doesn't neglect the heartbreak either. The author is an actual cancer specialist - so much of what he's passing along is along the lines of personal knowledge, as opposed to reporting on what others are doing.

This is more a question for macgyver… I have this notion, based on nothing more than a non-medical hunch, that cancer isn’t a disease per se but just an effect whose cause is random. I’m thinking in particular of particles from space that are constantly streaming through our bodies, including particles/waves from our surrounding on earth, for example electromagnetic waves of all sorts. If we could see all the various types of waves, cell phones, radios, garage door openers, etc. etc. it would look like a dense cloud. I’m wondering if cancer is just what happens when some of these omnipresent waves have a physical effect on a set of cells such that they go “haywire” and stop functioning correctly. Point being, if this were the case, there’d be no cure per se, no way to prevent cancer, just ways to deal with the effect. Thoughts?

This is more a question for macgyver... I have this notion, based on nothing more than a non-medical hunch, that cancer isn't a disease per se but just an effect whose cause is random. I'm thinking in particular of particles from space that are constantly streaming through our bodies, including particles/waves from our surrounding on earth, for example electromagnetic waves of all sorts. If we could see all the various types of waves, cell phones, radios, garage door openers, etc. etc. it would look like a dense cloud. I'm wondering if cancer is just what happens when some of these omnipresent waves have a physical effect on a set of cells such that they go "haywire" and stop functioning correctly. Point being, if this were the case, there'd be no cure per se, no way to prevent cancer, just ways to deal with the effect. Thoughts?
All cancers have one thing in common, they result from a series of genetic mutations that remove the normal controls on cell replication. Most cancers rare the result of multiple mutations in a single cell. Some of those mutations are present from birth and others acquired during our lifetimes. Too many mutations and the cell dies but if you get the right combination of key mutations in a cell you get cancer. Acquired mutations can be caused by random replication errors during normal mitosis or by exposure to cancer causing substance (things we ingest, inhale, or absorb) or by exposure to ionizing radiation which is high frequency electromagnetic radiation. Not all electromagnetic radiation is capable of causing changes in DNA. High frequency electromagnetic waves like X-rays, UV rays, and Gamma rays can certainly cause DNA damage but there is far less evidence that low frequency long wavelength EM's like radio waves are capable of causing such damage. So to your question its unlikely that you have much to fear from your cell phone, radio, or garage door opener.
This is more a question for macgyver... I have this notion, based on nothing more than a non-medical hunch, that cancer isn't a disease per se but just an effect whose cause is random. I'm thinking in particular of particles from space that are constantly streaming through our bodies, including particles/waves from our surrounding on earth, for example electromagnetic waves of all sorts. If we could see all the various types of waves, cell phones, radios, garage door openers, etc. etc. it would look like a dense cloud. I'm wondering if cancer is just what happens when some of these omnipresent waves have a physical effect on a set of cells such that they go "haywire" and stop functioning correctly. Point being, if this were the case, there'd be no cure per se, no way to prevent cancer, just ways to deal with the effect. Thoughts?
All cancers have one thing in common, they result from a series of genetic mutations that remove the normal controls on cell replication. Most cancers rare the result of multiple mutations in a single cell. Some of those mutations are present from birth and others acquired during our lifetimes. Too many mutations and the cell dies but if you get the right combination of key mutations in a cell you get cancer. Acquired mutations can be caused by random replication errors during normal mitosis or by exposure to cancer causing substance (things we ingest, inhale, or absorb) or by exposure to ionizing radiation which is high frequency electromagnetic radiation. Not all electromagnetic radiation is capable of causing changes in DNA. High frequency electromagnetic waves like X-rays, UV rays, and Gamma rays can certainly cause DNA damage but there is far less evidence that low frequency long wavelength EM's like radio waves are capable of causing such damage. So to your question its unlikely that you have much to fear from your cell phone, radio, or garage door opener.Always learn something from your posts, thanks. So safe from Low Frequency, but we're constantly bombarded by the high frequency EM aren't we? Either from space or sources from earth? And really my concern would be that cancer just isn't something that can be cured, at least cancer arising from High Freq EM, unless we stat wearing special skin lotion that shields us from those types of waves.
This is more a question for macgyver... I have this notion, based on nothing more than a non-medical hunch, that cancer isn't a disease per se but just an effect whose cause is random. I'm thinking in particular of particles from space that are constantly streaming through our bodies, including particles/waves from our surrounding on earth, for example electromagnetic waves of all sorts. If we could see all the various types of waves, cell phones, radios, garage door openers, etc. etc. it would look like a dense cloud. I'm wondering if cancer is just what happens when some of these omnipresent waves have a physical effect on a set of cells such that they go "haywire" and stop functioning correctly. Point being, if this were the case, there'd be no cure per se, no way to prevent cancer, just ways to deal with the effect. Thoughts?
All cancers have one thing in common, they result from a series of genetic mutations that remove the normal controls on cell replication. Most cancers rare the result of multiple mutations in a single cell. Some of those mutations are present from birth and others acquired during our lifetimes. Too many mutations and the cell dies but if you get the right combination of key mutations in a cell you get cancer. Acquired mutations can be caused by random replication errors during normal mitosis or by exposure to cancer causing substance (things we ingest, inhale, or absorb) or by exposure to ionizing radiation which is high frequency electromagnetic radiation. Not all electromagnetic radiation is capable of causing changes in DNA. High frequency electromagnetic waves like X-rays, UV rays, and Gamma rays can certainly cause DNA damage but there is far less evidence that low frequency long wavelength EM's like radio waves are capable of causing such damage. So to your question its unlikely that you have much to fear from your cell phone, radio, or garage door opener.Always learn something from your posts, thanks. So safe from Low Frequency, but we're constantly bombarded by the high frequency EM aren't we? Either from space or sources from earth? And really my concern would be that cancer just isn't something that can be cured, at least cancer arising from High Freq EM, unless we stat wearing special skin lotion that shields us from those types of waves. Tin foil hats help.
This is more a question for macgyver... I have this notion, based on nothing more than a non-medical hunch, that cancer isn't a disease per se but just an effect whose cause is random. I'm thinking in particular of particles from space that are constantly streaming through our bodies, including particles/waves from our surrounding on earth, for example electromagnetic waves of all sorts. If we could see all the various types of waves, cell phones, radios, garage door openers, etc. etc. it would look like a dense cloud. I'm wondering if cancer is just what happens when some of these omnipresent waves have a physical effect on a set of cells such that they go "haywire" and stop functioning correctly. Point being, if this were the case, there'd be no cure per se, no way to prevent cancer, just ways to deal with the effect. Thoughts?
All cancers have one thing in common, they result from a series of genetic mutations that remove the normal controls on cell replication. Most cancers rare the result of multiple mutations in a single cell. Some of those mutations are present from birth and others acquired during our lifetimes. Too many mutations and the cell dies but if you get the right combination of key mutations in a cell you get cancer. Acquired mutations can be caused by random replication errors during normal mitosis or by exposure to cancer causing substance (things we ingest, inhale, or absorb) or by exposure to ionizing radiation which is high frequency electromagnetic radiation. Not all electromagnetic radiation is capable of causing changes in DNA. High frequency electromagnetic waves like X-rays, UV rays, and Gamma rays can certainly cause DNA damage but there is far less evidence that low frequency long wavelength EM's like radio waves are capable of causing such damage. So to your question its unlikely that you have much to fear from your cell phone, radio, or garage door opener.Always learn something from your posts, thanks. So safe from Low Frequency, but we're constantly bombarded by the high frequency EM aren't we? Either from space or sources from earth? And really my concern would be that cancer just isn't something that can be cured, at least cancer arising from High Freq EM, unless we stat wearing special skin lotion that shields us from those types of waves. Tin foil hats help. True, cancer is NOT A disease but many different ones caused by excessive uncontrolled growth. These "waves" you mention that came from what humans have built have only been around about a century and the disease has been around forever so have little fear of new "waves". No, there is no certain way to prevent or cure it but there is work being done on drugs that will literally starve malignant cells to death. All living things must "feed" so cutting off their food will bring their death. We may not find what we are seeking, but if we do, BINGO we can cure cancer.
Always learn something from your posts, thanks. So safe from Low Frequency, but we're constantly bombarded by the high frequency EM aren't we? Either from space or sources from earth? And really my concern would be that cancer just isn't something that can be cured, at least cancer arising from High Freq EM, unless we stat wearing special skin lotion that shields us from those types of waves.
I'm glad you found it useful. Patient education and teaching are my favorite part of being a doctor so I'm happy to help out. You're correct that we are exposed to high frequency EM's in a number of ways. UV rays from the sun can cause DNA damage but only within a limit depth into the skin. Skin cancer is the number one cancer in this country though and increasing in frequency so its something to try and protect ourselves from (cover up with clothes, use sun screen every day if possible since most of our exposure does not occur while lying out on the weekends, and stay out of the sun from 10am to 2pm especially). Xrays from medical sources (www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/11/14/245183244/cosmic-rays-sound-scary-but-radiation-risk-on-a-flight-is-small?refresh=true), airport security scanners, and to a lesser extent from out space Gamma rays mostly from astronomical sources but also on a smaller scale from lightening strikes, and also when we fly (www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/11/14/245183244/cosmic-rays-sound-scary-but-radiation-risk-on-a-flight-is-small) Then there is ionizing radiation in the form of alpha and beta particles which are emitted during radioactive decay of naturally occurring substances like radon, uranium which exist in small amounts to lesser or greater degrees in every location. Its difficult to avoid most of these sources of radiation. We can avoid direct exposure to strong sunlight as mentioned above. You can ask the doctor if you really need that chest xray or more importantly the CT scan (which expose you to almost 200 times as much radiation as a chest xray in some cases). You can try to avoid flights that go through polar latitudes if thats practical but in the end you could do all of those things and you will still have some exposure to radiation that is unavoidable. I don't agree that cancer can't be cured. I have many patients who have in fact been cured. We can't repair the damaged cells of course with current technology but we can remove them through surgery or kill them with radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy leaving the healthy tissue behind. But thats the tricky part, finding the best ways to kill the all of the bad cells without killing the good cells that we need to live.
I don't agree that cancer can't be cured. I have many patients who have in fact been cured. We can't repair the damaged cells of course with current technology but we can remove them through surgery or kill them with radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy leaving the healthy tissue behind. But thats the tricky part, finding the best ways to kill the all of the bad cells without killing the good cells that we need to live.
well and to keep up with mutations - the biological arms race

Although infants/children and young adults get cancer, it is primarily a disease of age. Live long enough, chances are you will get a cancer which may or may not kill you. In the past 100 years, we have finally started living long enough in aggregate, to die of diseases of old age…cancers and dementias.

We do have an effective cure for destroying cancerous cells. Bee venom!
The problem lies in targeting the cancerous cells, which we are working on. If we can produce a targeted delivery system, we can kill cancer from within.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH7gQBo_gXo (see @ 47:20)

Although infants/children and young adults get cancer, it is primarily a disease of age. Live long enough, chances are you will get a cancer which may or may not kill you. In the past 100 years, we have finally started living long enough in aggregate, to die of diseases of old age....cancers and dementias.
I suppose it's just what happens when people live long enough for practically unavoidable DNA damage to build up to meaningful levels. C'est la vie.