29 May 2015 (online)
It is interesting to see how conventional medicine more and more individualises each and every case. In 2013 the journal Science chose cancer immunotherapy as Breakthrough of the Year. Cancer immunotherapy basically supports the body's own immune system to fight its own battle. A few more of these developments and conventional medicine rediscovers homeopathy.
Science's editors chose cancer immunotherapy as Breakthrough of the Year for 2013, a strategy that harnesses the body's immune system to combat tumours. It's an attractive idea, and researchers have struggled for decades to make it work. Now, many oncologists say those efforts are paying off, as two different techniques show signs of helping some patients. One involves antibodies that release a brake on T cells, giving them the power to tackle tumours. Another involves genetically modifying an individual's T cells outside the body to make them better able to target cancer, and then reinfusing them so they can do just that. Experts stress that these techniques have been tested in only small trials, and that they don't always work. However, the results have raised hope that immunotherapy may give doctors new options for treatment in the future.
Source: Science. 2013;342(6165):1432–1433. doi: 10.1126/science.342.6165.1432.