Arming Your Immune System to Kill Cancer
One of the reasons cancer cells are so insidious is because of their ability to invade healthy cells and convert them into cancerous ones. They accomplish this while staying under the radar of the immune system.
In the past, chemical based treatments designed to attack cancer cells damaged both good and bad cells, and were very difficult for the patient to endure. Thanks to Dr. Antonia’s research team, healthier alternatives are being explored.
“The focus of my research is on immune-based treatments. This approach unlocks a patients own immune system so it attacks any cancerous tumors,” said Dr. Scott Antonia,program leader for immuno-therapy research at Moffitt Cancer Center. “It’s like rewiring cancer cells to destroy themselves.”
Antonia’s team’s genetic-based testing is getting us one step closer to treatments that will prolong lives while we search for the cure.
“These kind of personalized, targeted treatment options leave healthy cells out of the line of fire,” Antonia added, “and increase the chances of shrinking or eliminating malignant tumors.”
With so much momentum building around such research, the question becomes why can’t we move faster?
“One of the largest hurdles we face is fighting the stigma of lung cancer – which gets in the way of funding” added Dr. Antonia. “We’ve just scratched the surface in outsmarting this disease. We’re gaining traction, but there is so much more to do.”
Check back to read the latest in Dr. Antonia’s ongoing immune study.