Melanoma Cured by Cloning Patient's Own Immune Cells

Immune system boost wipes out tumors
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2008 6:11 AM CDT
The cloned CD4 T cells injected back into the patient triggered the growth of cells that attacked his cancer.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – Scientists eliminated a man's late-stage melanoma by giving the body's own defenses a massive boost, Scientific American reports. They removed infection-fighting white blood cells from the patient's body, cloned them in the lab until they numbered in the billions, and injected them back into the patient. He was tumor-free 2 months later and remained so for 2 years. 

The researchers say the results of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, could lead to new cancer treatments that avoid the side effects of chemotherapy by using only the body's own immune cells. They warn, however, that the dramatic results occurred in just one patient, and that much research remains to be done.