June 21, 2009

cancer cure

This seems too incredible to be true, but so encouraging . . . as reported by UK TimesOnLine:

TWO men with advanced, inoperable prostate cancer have dramatically recovered after being treated with an experimental drug. Both are cancer-free and have returned to normal life.

The patients, Rodger Nelson and Fructuoso Solano-Revuelta, took part in US trials of a drug called ipilimumab. The researchers were so excited by the men’s recovery that they released details before completion of the tests, which involved 108 men in all.

Before treatment at the Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, both men had aggressive tumours and neither was expected to survive.

Dr Eugene Kwon, who led the trial, said: “We were startled to see responses that far exceeded expectations.”

The patients received traditional hormone therapy to remove testosterone, which fuels prostate cancer. They then had one dose of ipilimumab, an antibody that boosts the immune system’s response.

Both patients saw their prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels drop to the point where they could have surgery. PSA is a protein that allows doctors to monitor prostate cancer.

When the surgeons made their incisions, they had a surprise. Michael Blute, a urologist, said: “The tumours had shrunk dramatically. I had a hard time finding the cancer.”

John Neate, of the Prostate Cancer Charity in the UK, where 10,000 men die a year from the disease, said: “If these early and small-scale results are replicated in larger trials, this represents a potentially very exciting development.”
There is some background on Wikipedia about the drug.

Another bit of potential good news for we greybeards.

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