Doctor cancer-free one year after he was treated with a treatment based on his research

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There are two practical takeaways from this article.

  1. Treatment of a cancer before surgery is called “neo-adjuvant” therapy. This treatment can be conventional chemotherapy. (It’s not limited to experimental new treatments.) The chemo shrinks the tumor which makes surgery easier. A friend of mine had neo-adjuvant therapy for a large 2" diameter breast tumor. The tumor completely disappeared (became undetectable, which doesn’t mean there were no residual cancer cells left). She chose bilateral mastectomy anyway but she has already survived over 5 years so her chances are good. Bottom line: if you get a diagnosis of a solid tumor, request chemo before surgery.

  2. The patient was the first to be administered a vaccine personalised to his tumour’s characteristics, which boosts the cancer-detecting powers of the drugs. This is a highly sophisticated technique which uses the power of the immune system to attack the cancer. It’s truly the Holy Grail of cancer treatment. The problem is that it can’t be mass produced. It will be very expensive since each patient will need a personalized vaccine. A commercial opportunity exists for invention and mass production of devices that can streamline this process, much the way that DNA analysis was streamlined about 20 years ago.

Wendy

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