Human Exceptionalism

Regenerative Medicine Cancer “Cure?”

Hopefully this is very big. A patient was injected with billions of his own genetically altered white blood cells and it apparently put his metastasized cancer into remission. From the story:

A cancer patient has made a full recovery after being injected with billions of his own immune cells in the first case of its kind, doctors have disclosed. The 52-year-old, who was suffering from advanced skin cancer, was free from tumours within eight weeks of undergoing the procedure…After two years he is still free from the disease which had spread to his lymph nodes and one of his lungs.

Genetically altered white blood cells have been used before to treat cancer patients but this is the first study to show that simply growing vast numbers of the few immune cells in the body to attack a cancer can be safe and effective.

As I often say, one cure does not a treatment make. Moreover, the treatment is expensive and requires a lot more work to perfect. But is this great news or is this great news? Chalk up another sign of great hope for non controversial regenerative medical techniques.