Doctors Have Made A Major Breakthrough In Treating Breast Cancer

photographed by Tayler Smith.
Doctors have eradicated a woman's terminal breast cancer with a pioneering new treatment, in what is being hailed a world first.
The 49-year-old woman named Judy Perkins, who lives in Florida, was given three months to live but two years later she is alive, cancer free and spending her days backpacking, kayaking and just completed a five-week trip circumnavigating Florida, the BBC reported.
The groundbreaking cancer treatment, administered to her by the US National Cancer Institute and detailed in the journal Nature Medicine, is still in the experimental phase, but doctors say it could transform the way all cancers are treated.
Perkins had tennis-ball sized tumours in her liver and secondary cancers elsewhere in her body that could not be treated with routine chemotherapy. After being chosen for the new treatment her body was pumped with 90 billion cancer-killing immune cells, a treatment that has been described as "living therapy" because the drug is made from a patient's own cells.
Perkins said she could feel the tumour in her chest "shrinking" about a week after first receiving the therapy. "It took another week or two for it to completely go away," she told the BBC. Following her first post-procedure scan and surrounded by "excited" medical staff, she was told that her cancer would probably be cured.
Dr Steven Rosenberg, chief of surgery at the National Cancer Institute, described the procedure as "the most highly personalised treatment imaginable" and said it will need to be tested in large-scale trials to confirm its success, but the potential for it to be used to treat other cancers is huge.
"This is highly experimental and we're just learning how to do this, but potentially it is applicable to any cancer," he told the BBC. "At 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."
Professionals working in the breast cancer field have described the findings as game-changing. Dr Simon Vincent, director of research at Breast Cancer Now, described the research as "world class" and the result as "remarkable."
"There's a huge amount of work that needs to be done, but potentially it could open up a whole new area of therapy for a large number of people."

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