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Biotech Medicine Science

Training an Immune System To Kill Cancer: a Universal Strategy 201

New submitter Guppy writes "A previous story reported widely in the media, and appearing both on Slashdot and XKCD, described a novel cancer treatment, in which a patient's own T-cells were modified using an HIV-derived vector to recognize and kill leukemia cells. In a follow-up publication (PDF), a further development is described which allows for a nearly unlimited choice of target antigens, broadening the types of malignancies potentially treatable with the technique (abstract)."
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Training an Immune System To Kill Cancer: a Universal Strategy

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  • by Defenestrar ( 1773808 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @10:43AM (#39274657)

    Cardiopulmonary will still top the list (including your pneumonia), accidents will probably move from third to second (If you count strokes in the first category by including the vascular system). It's tough to decide if people surviving cancer will be taken out by the ticker or a bug in the lungs. A reasonable assumption will be an even distribution among remaining causes.

    Heart disease: 599,413

    Cancer: 567,628

    Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 137,353

    Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 128,842

    Accidents (unintentional injuries): 118,021

    Alzheimer's disease: 79,003

    Diabetes: 68,705

    Influenza and Pneumonia: 53,692

    Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 48,935

    Intentional self-harm (suicide): 36,909

    Data from the CDC []

  • by SomeKDEUser ( 1243392 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @11:52AM (#39275295)

    First point: doctors are not scientists. Not remotely. Some doctors happen to be scientists. But this is a separate career, and they frequently are unprepared for it. This is the subject of a separate debate.

    Second point: this is of course unrelated to the fact that scientists are mostly atheists. Even in the US. It is irrelevant that there are theists doctors and theists scientists: there is variation in any population. It just happens that when you say that, you obscure the greater truth that overwhelming odds are they don't believe in gods. source: []

  • You do know... (Score:4, Informative)

    by DeadCatX2 ( 950953 ) on Wednesday March 07, 2012 @12:46PM (#39275949) Journal

    You do know that they are not actually infecting people with HIV, right? Instead, they're extracting T-cells from a human, then reprogramming them with a modified strain of HIV, letting them replicate, and then inserting the T-cells back into the body.

    Granted, there are different problems for each type of vector that is used for modifying cells...but the whole HIV thing is pretty much overblown, from what I have read.

All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing without thinking.