HUGE cancer news

pmv

Lifer
May 30, 2008
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The article linked to from that one seems to give a more complete explanation. Seems that it works on cancers that are themselves due to a particular genetic trait that makes those with it particularly susceptible to cancer - irrespective of where the cancer is. Great news for everyone with that genetic quirk, I guess.

 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
69,459
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I got sucked in by the headline and it pisses me off. I am seeing Google News as nothing more that click bate. This cure is for a rare cancer with a rare genetic marker. That it is a cure for all cancers is bull shit. If you show any interest while having your viewing history tracked you can pick some topic and get flooded by news about that topic including content obviously designed to titillate your particular interest. The people who run Google are swine, in my opinion. No doubt this kind of shit is done on other aggregate news sites. I happen to be familiar with it on Google News.
 
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Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
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The article linked to from that one seems to give a more complete explanation. Seems that it works on cancers that are themselves due to a particular genetic trait that makes those with it particularly susceptible to cancer - irrespective of where the cancer is. Great news for everyone with that genetic quirk, I guess.

We need to appreciate the results are limited.
But we can also appreciate that every bit helps, step by step.
Because at the end of the day it boils down to just one thing: !@#$ Cancer!
 

Zorba

Lifer
Oct 22, 1999
12,299
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Hopefully it wasn't a reprogrammed virus....


(I am Legend for those that missed the reference)
 

pmv

Lifer
May 30, 2008
10,915
5,688
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We need to appreciate the results are limited.
But we can also appreciate that every bit helps, step by step.
Because at the end of the day it boils down to just one thing: !@#$ Cancer!
Yeah, not saying it's not newsworthy. Just doesn't sound like it would apply to everyone with rectal cancer - sounds as if it's specific to this high-risk group.

You don't often hear of trials with such overwhelmingly positive results - certainly has to have been wonderful news for the participants in the trial.
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
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So the rest of us dont get this cancer cause our immune system is already killing it before it spreads… something like that. Yea good for them but not the magic bullet. But who knows, this may be a stepping stone towards it.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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I mean that's what gene therapy is.
I don't think that is very descriptive of what gene therapy is. It is the gene that provides the therapy, an engineered virus can be used as a means to insert a gene into DNA. At least that's what I think

Using a virus to kill cancer would be a different thing. Such viruses could possible exist for all I know.
 

[DHT]Osiris

Lifer
Dec 15, 2015
11,212
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I don't think that is very descriptive of what gene therapy is. It is the gene that provides the therapy, an engineered virus can be used as a means to insert a gene into DNA. At least that's what I think

Using a virus to kill cancer would be a different thing. Such viruses could possible exist for all I know.
IIRC, that's exactly what viruses do. Inject new genetic material into DNA to reproduce.
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
108,273
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The article linked to from that one seems to give a more complete explanation. Seems that it works on cancers that are themselves due to a particular genetic trait that makes those with it particularly susceptible to cancer - irrespective of where the cancer is. Great news for everyone with that genetic quirk, I guess.

no, that's not the big deal.

the big deal is that targeting the offending locus in the patient worked, and so tricking their bodies to fight back was completely successful, and likely permanent.

This means that many other types of traits from patient to patient, dealing with a similar cancer progression (this was a particularly nasty form of colorectal cancer, that has been on rampage in recent years), can be easily targeted to a wide range of patients.

This is proof of a new scalpel--an entirely different paradigm in treatment, that is growing and growing already. This isn't injecting poison to kill all your cells.

This is finally us telling our cells to kill only the bad ones, and it's finally starting to work. And it ain't a miracle. It's dedicated science.
 

uclaLabrat

Diamond Member
Aug 2, 2007
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Which would imply that you could engineer a virus to inject whatever you might want to, including human genes.
Like i said, thats exactly what gene theraoy is. Engineering viruses into vectors for therapeutic genes.
 

pmv

Lifer
May 30, 2008
10,915
5,688
136
no, that's not the big deal.

the big deal is that targeting the offending locus in the patient worked, and so tricking their bodies to fight back was completely successful, and likely permanent.

This means that many other types of traits from patient to patient, dealing with a similar cancer progression (this was a particularly nasty form of colorectal cancer, that has been on rampage in recent years), can be easily targeted to a wide range of patients.

This is proof of a new scalpel--an entirely different paradigm in treatment, that is growing and growing already. This isn't injecting poison to kill all your cells.

This is finally us telling our cells to kill only the bad ones, and it's finally starting to work. And it ain't a miracle. It's dedicated science.

I don't quite understand, tbh.

It says

All of the patients in the study had a rare genetic signature in their tumors, known as mismatch repair deficiency. This means that cells are not as able to repair errors in DNA, a process that can lead to cancer. Eight of the 12 patients described in the New England Journal paper, including Roth, had Lynch syndrome, a genetic condition that causes mismatch repair and carries a much higher risk of colon cancer
and

Immunotherapy drugs such as Jemperli or Merck’s Keytruda are thought to work against such cancer because all those changes in DNA make it easier for the immune system to learn to recognize and attack a tumor.

Which to me (granted, not really understanding much about the topic) seems to be saying that these are people who got this cancer in the first place because they had a genetic condition that caused this particular DNA-mutation, that led to cancer, but that this treatment works because it can target precisely the cells with that particular mutated DNA.

It doesn't seem, as far as I can understand it, that therefore it would target any cancer in anybody, it sounds as if it's targeted at the kind of cancer-causing cell anomaly that people with this genetic condition can get.

Or is the treatment, in principle, able to target _any_ kind of mutated cell (whatever we choose to pick as the target), not just the one that this genetic condition leads to (and that all cancers - presumably, by the nature of cancer - have some kind of mutated DNA that we can in theory target?)
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
108,273
25,079
146
I don't quite understand, tbh.

It says



and




Which to me (granted, not really understanding much about the topic) seems to be saying that these are people who got this cancer in the first place because they had a genetic condition that caused this particular DNA-mutation, that led to cancer, but that this treatment works because it can target precisely the cells with that particular mutated DNA.

It doesn't seem, as far as I can understand it, that therefore it would target any cancer in anybody, it sounds as if it's targeted at the kind of cancer-causing cell anomaly that people with this genetic condition can get.

Or is the treatment, in principle, able to target _any_ kind of mutated cell (whatever we choose to pick as the target), not just the one that this genetic condition leads to (and that all cancers - presumably, by the nature of cancer - have some kind of mutated DNA that we can in theory target?)
what I mean is that yes, this was targeted to repair the specific syndrome for these patients, but that's just the tool.

The tool can generally be directed elsewhere, with another specific target. It isn't always going to work, because a mutation in one gene or locus isn't always the same type of mutation in another (simply cutting out/knocking down/overexpressing one region isn't always as easy as doing the same for the next mutation, because they have different "neighborhoods"--surrounded by "stuff" that might make the targeting much more difficult).

I see this as them employing a modular screwdriver, with a phillips head fitting as it is needed, very effectively. Now, that this works, they can look at other targets and swap to the flathead fitting, or star fitting, etc. ....likely.
 

cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
19,787
9,366
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what I mean is that yes, this was targeted to repair the specific syndrome for these patients, but that's just the tool.

The tool can generally be directed elsewhere, with another specific target. It isn't always going to work, because a mutation in one gene or locus isn't always the same type of mutation in another (simply cutting out/knocking down/overexpressing one region isn't always as easy as doing the same for the next mutation, because they have different "neighborhoods"--surrounded by "stuff" that might make the targeting much more difficult).

I see this as them employing a modular screwdriver, with a phillips head fitting as it is needed, very effectively. Now, that this works, they can look at other targets and swap to the flathead fitting, or star fitting, etc. ....likely.
The culprit here is that this specific genetic trait is generic and well defined in the population, thus one key fits many locks. It is my understanding that cancer in general is sort of random, a brain cell begins to think its a skin cell and havoc follows, to 'reprogram' your immune system to target that you'd have to reengineer the treatment for that specific genetic fuckup, that one case... And maybe that IS the future? Individual targeted immune therapies specialized for your personal genetic markup.

But then why only target cancer? Why not repair all the damage... you know, this thing they call "aging"? :).
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
108,273
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The culprit here is that this specific genetic trait is generic and well defined in the population, thus one key fits many locks. It is my understanding that cancer in general is sort of random, a brain cell begins to think its a skin cell and havoc follows, to 'reprogram' your immune system to target that you'd have to reengineer the treatment for that specific genetic fuckup, that one case... And maybe that IS the future? Individual targeted immune therapies specialized for your personal genetic markup.

But then why only target cancer? Why not repair all the damage... you know, this thing they call "aging"? :).
right.

...as for aging, it's a different, far more complex thing altogether, that, itself, tends toward its own cascade of diseases and can perhaps be defined as what happens when various cells of various different systems start to become less and less efficient during mitosis (if you're a somatic cell), which is when accumulating mutations start to progress on to the next generation of cells: aging.

It's a "whole system" thing, among many different systems within the body and, as a biologist, I tend to believe it is a necessary thing. I have zero interest in defeating such a necessary process. I like the idea of delaying it to some degree, but "eliminating aging" would be the human-created cancer that we don't need. It goes beyond biology and science and into creating economic-resource disaster that we would never be able to sustain. The old "just because we can, doesn't mean that we should" trope.
 

conehead433

Diamond Member
Dec 4, 2002
5,437
613
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It would be really great if all cancers could be cured. We might want to avoid completely conquering death any time soon however. In the Star Trek episode "The Mark of Gideon" a beautiful woman named Odona is tasked with getting Kirk to infect her with a deadly disease, which she could give to her world, as they no longer experienced death. It wasn't really hard for Kirk to infect her, she was beautiful and all he had to do was kiss her.
 

blackangst1

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
21,825
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It would be really great if all cancers could be cured. We might want to avoid completely conquering death any time soon however. In the Star Trek episode "The Mark of Gideon" a beautiful woman named Odona is tasked with getting Kirk to infect her with a deadly disease, which she could give to her world, as they no longer experienced death. It wasn't really hard for Kirk to infect her, she was beautiful and all he had to do was kiss her.
Yes I think we all agree. Although this particular trial was specific, its a start. Afterall, there are over 100 types of cancer, and there likely wont be a cure-all for all of them.

How Many Types of Cancer Are There? (emedicinehealth.com)
 

Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
15,755
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With 12 people it could be a fluke. If the drug cures 50% of people, one in 4096 trials would have this result. And there are a lot of cancer drug trials, so this seems plausible.

 
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interchange

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 1999
7,877
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There are many monoclonal antibodies which are FDA-approved for cancer treatment. The results from this small trial show unusual efficacy for this particular small subset of patients. Yay. Although I don't really see any reason to get excited about this being an advancement in developing other therapies.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
14,969
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I have zero interest in defeating such a necessary process. I like the idea of delaying it to some degree, but "eliminating aging" would be the human-created cancer that we don't need. It goes beyond biology and science and into creating economic-resource disaster that we would never be able to sustain. The old "just because we can, doesn't mean that we should" trope.
While I respect your concern, I don't think it matters. Objecting to attempts to cure or substantially slow aging is like putting your finger in a dam. Two general rules apply here. First, if there is any chance we can make it, we're going to try. Like you said, just because we can. Second, if there is any money to be made, we're going to try really really hard. If anyone comes up with a pharmaceutical or other treatment which could even slow aging by 25%, that person or company is going to make trillions.

So we're either going to fail at it indefinitely, experience an apocalypse before we can succeed, or we're going to succeed and sort out the economic-resource disaster afterwards. If we can. That is just how we roll, as a species.

Good posts in this thread BTW. Very informative.
 
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