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Immunology to Fight Cancers?

Fri Jan 5 07:55:45 EST 1996

>I have the idea why not trying to challenge the immune system of a cancer 
>patient with the cancer cells itself, weakened if necessary, and inject them 
>intracutaneously. I expect the immune system will be agitated by the injection 
>and start to develop cell-mediated immune reactions and attack the other 
>cancer cells in the patient's body. 
>I'm wondering whether this idea has been tried or not. 

This idea has actually been tried in a slightly different format to fight 
certain types of T-cell lymphomas.

The patient is given a drug which makes his cells sensitive to UV light.  The 
patient's blood is then passed through the a UV device which kills the 
sensitized T-cells.  The blood is then given back to the patient.  While I've 
done a poor job in explaining how the system works, you get the picture.  The 
cancerous T-cell and some healthy ones are killed and then readministered to the 
patient to act as antigen for the immune system.  If I remember correctly, the 
procedure uses peripheral blood as a source of the T-cells because it is easy to 
obtain and contain about 10% of the total number of T-cells.  The procedure does 
work but a major drawback is that it is still experimental and it is not a one 
time procedure.  The patients must stay on the treatment.  Last time I heard the 
person doing the research was thinking about trying the same procedure on HIV 
infected individuals.

Bart Corsaro
Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines and Pediatrics
211 Bailey Rd.
West Henrietta, NY, USA 14586-9728
Email: Bart_Corsaro_at_USLRMG01 at internetmail.pr.cyanamid.com

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