Cancer research has made big strides in the past ten years, and many researchers believe gene therapy may be the key to a cancer-free future. Gene therapy cancer treatment is a new method of fighting cancer by helping the body’s healing properties to more effectively fight cancer cells. This experimental cancer therapy, developed by California-based Kite Pharma, seeks FDA approval by the end of March 2017. The good news? The treatment has already seen good results in human studies.
What is Gene Therapy?
In layperson’s terms, gene therapy is any process that changes the body’s cells through the addition of modified DNA. DNA contains the instructions for how a cell should work.
The therapy is promising for many diseases because it can be used to correct abnormal cells, such as in cases of hereditary or degenerative diseases. When a person’s cells do not function the way they should, healthy DNA can be introduced to replace the bad instructions, and restore proper function of the cell.
Scientists can also engineer standard DNA to be even better than normal at certain functions. For example, gene therapy treatment can add a gene that improves cancer resistance or deactivate a gene that is not working properly and causing problems.
Kite Pharma’s Experimental Cancer Treatment Sees Complete Remission at Six Months
The USA’s National Cancer Institute developed the treatment, sponsored in part by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Kite Pharma licensed the treatment and performed a major human study of the therapy with encouraging results.
82% of the patients in the trial saw their cancer shrink by at least half during the study. Called CAR-T therapy, it uses genetic engineering to help the body’s blood cells attack cancer cells.
The six-month trial showed promise, but there are risks. Of the 101 patients, three passed away during the study, and two of those deaths were reportedly related to the treatment.
The Kite Researchers are excited about this treatment and the benefits it could bring to patients with severe cancer. Further research aims to find out more about the long term side effects. Hopefully, this alternative cancer treatment will become available soon, because cancer rates are on the rise in North America.
Cancer Rates on the Rise
As you probably know, the mainstream North American lifestyle is the perfect environment for cancer to thrive. Experts say half of all cancer cases are caused by lifestyle choices:
- smoking cigarettes
- eating processed junk food
- avoiding exercise
- grabbing fast-food meals on the go
- choosing sugary drinks
While we love how medical research is making cancer less and less dangerous, cancer prevention starts with the choices you make day to day. Here are some natural prevention tips to reduce risk in the first place.
- Try proven natural ways to quit smoking
- switch to healthy snacks that nourish your body and mind
- Start a simple, easy-to-stick-to home workout and start seeing results fast
- Bring tasty, nutritious packed lunches to work
- Replace sugary drinks with lemon water (The number of benefits is surprising!)
- Take time to destress and reduce worries
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