Breast cancer sufferer given just months to live is cured by experimental immunotherapy, researchers said. A Florida woman is now cancer-free as she received a new therapy.
Two and a half years ago, doctors told Judy Perkins, 52, of Port Lucie, that she had just 3 months to live. Perkins had large tumors in her liver and “secondary cancers throughout her body.”
She said that she went through chemotherapy and hormonal therapy but both treatments get failed. The conventional therapy didn’t stop the spread of cancer to her chest and liver. She was sure she had few months to live – that is until she met Dr. Steven Rosenberg at the National Institutes of Health.
Perkins underwent an experimental treatment that injected 90 billion cancer-killing immune cells into her body. Rosenberg screened her immune cells in order to find white blood cells having the ability to attack cancer. Before injecting those cells, Scientists extracted and grew them in a lab.
“I think it had been maybe 10 days since I’d gotten the cells, and I could already feel that tumor starting to get soft,” Perkins said. “By then I was like, ‘Dang, this is really working,’” she added.
The woman signed up for Rosenberg’s cancer treatment well-informed about the risks involved. Two of her friends with cancer went through the same trial in Rosenberg’s lab but both of them died.
“A lot of works needs to be done, but the potential exists for a paradigm shift in cancer therapy – a unique drug for every cancer patient – it is very different to any other kind of treatment,” Rosenberg said.