More than half of terminally ill blood cancer patients experienced complete remission in early clinical trials using modified cells from their immune system, reported The Guardian last week.
Speaking at the annual meeting for the American Association for the Advancement for Science (AAAS), researcher Stanley Riddell said: “This is unprecedented in medicine, to be honest, to get response rates in this range in these very advanced patients.”
Many of the patients in the trials had been given 2 to 5 months to live and exhausted all other options. To administer the T-cell therapy, doctors remove immune cells from patients, tagging them with “receptor” molecules that target a specific cancer, as other T-cells target the flu or infections. They then infuse the cells back in the body to let them do what they are supposed to do originally - recognise and destroy foreign matter in the body.
In one study, 94% of participants with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) saw symptoms vanish completely. Patients with other blood cancers had response rates greater than 80%, and more than half experienced complete remission.
“T-cells are a living drug, and in particular they have the potential to persist in our body for our whole lives,” said researcher Chiara Bonini, a haematologist at San Raffaele University in Milan.
However, at present, T-cell therapy is considered an option of last resort because reprogramming the immune system can come with dangerous side-effects, including cytokine release syndrome (sCRS) – and overload defense cells. Twenty patients suffered symptoms of fever, hypotension and neurotoxicity due to sCRS, and 2 died, but the researchers noted that chemotherapy had failed in all the patients who participated in the new trials.
We've always had the message drummed in to us to take Panadol or paracetamol when in pain but this article (login required) suggests it may not be as effective as we think, as least for lower back pain.
Between 2008 and 2013, 1643 adult patients (mean age: 45 years, 53% male) in Sydney, Australia, were placed in a study to look at the effectiveness of paracetamol with acute low back pain. They were divided into 3 groups: One was told to follow the stated dose, the second group to take the tablets as needed and the third group had the same instructions as the first group but were given placebo tablets.
There was no difference in pain or recovery time between the three groups and the median time to recovery for all of them was 17 days.
A much better way to manage acute lower back pain, as many of you know, is to give us a call and get a treatment - whether it be osteopathy, massage or naturopathy! We'll also be able to advise you on appropriate stretches and exercises for a faster recovery. When it comes to tablets, we're strong believers in using tumeric as a natural anti-inflammatory, which is nice and gentle for your gut. Speak to reception for for information.
All entries complied by osteopath Dr Wei Chua unless otherwise stated.