The most uplifting science stories of 2017
A few bright points throughout the year.
By Rachel Feltman 4 hours ago
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A true breakthrough in cancer treatment
After the successful treatment of two twins with leukemia using genetically modified immune cells, the FDA stamped its approval on CAR T-cell immunotherapy, a totally new way of fighting cancer. Now named Kymriah by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, the treatment is approved for children and young adults with a recurrent form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a blood cancer. Traditional therapies like chemotherapy and radiation only target the cancer cells and tumors themselves. You need different types of drugs depending on the type of cancer, and once you stop giving a person the treatment, it quickly leaves the body or stops working. This treatment, and all immunotherapies to a certain extent, target the person’s immune system and harness it to fight the cancer. In theory, it works just like a vaccine: once the immune system is coaxed into fighting the unhealthy cells, it should keep fighting them for a lifetime.
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What a great gift to humanity. Save more children.
Now if we could just stop aborting healthy babies!
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