In the last couple of decades being diagnosed with cancer was not considered a death sentence anymore. Each day a new therapy is emerging in order to help those who are suffering from this harrowing disease. Recently a team of oncologists from the Methodist Hospital have come up with a new therapy that might effectively wipe out prostate cancer. Kamikaze cells and chemo proved effective against prostate cancer, pushing the 5-year survival rate to over 94 percent.
Taking great pride in their noble fight against cancer, the doctors working for the Methodist Hospital may have stumbled upon a recipe which can be used to treat even the most severe forms of cancer. The new therapy implies a combination of several cancer-fighting techniques including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and something totally new entitled suicide gene therapy.
In this new kind of treatment, doctors harvest the patient’s cancerous cells in order to manipulate their consistency at a molecular level. Basically, the cancerous cells are genetically modified as to give off a specific signal which makes them visible on the radar, so to say. This signal is picked up by our body’s immune system, which orders the white blood cells to target and attack the cancerous cells. In the end, all the cancerous cell which give this specific signal tend to self-destruct.
Using this novel technique, the team of scientists working for the Methodists Hospital has discovered that kamikaze cells and chemo proved to be effective against prostate cancer.
In order to test their novel approach on non-conventional cancer therapies, the group enlisted a study group, comprised of patients who were suffering from this type of cancer. Approximately 66 volunteers were drafted for the study. The initial results indicated that patients treated with a combination of radiotherapy and suicide gene therapy have shown a 20 percent improvement.
To see what’s the best combo, the team decided to split the 66 patients into two groups, which they named Arm A and Arm B. The Arm A group consisted of patients with milder forms of prostate cancer, thus receiving two courses of radiation therapy and suicide gene therapy.
On the other hand, Arm B consisted of patients who displayed much more severe forms of prostate cancer and had to receive additional hormonal therapy besides radiation and gene therapy.
After the trial was finished and the results came in, doctor E. Brian Butler, the chief of radiation therapy and the lead author of the study, said that the results were very promising indeed. According to the results, the five-year survival rate for Arm A increased to over 97 percent, followed by a 94 percent survival rate for Arm B patients.
Also, for those interesting of consulting the study on the novel therapy, it can be found in the Journal of Radiation Oncology.