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Skin cancer therapy wins Nobel prize

BBC News

Two scientists who discovered how to fight cancer using the body's immune system have won the 2018 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine. The work by James P Allison, from the US, and Tasuku Honjo, from Japan, has led to treatments for advanced, deadly skin cancer. Immune checkpoint therapy has revolutionised cancer treatment, said the prize-giving Swedish Academy. Experts say it has proved to be "strikingly effective". Allison, a professor at the University of Texas, and Honjo, a professor at Kyoto University, will share the Nobel prize sum of nine million Swedish kronor - about $1.01 million or 870,000 euros.


Kite Pharma shares soar 25% after cancer therapy study shows good results

Los Angeles Times

An experimental gene therapy that turns a patient's own blood cells into cancer killers worked in a major study, with more than one-third of very sick lymphoma patients showing no sign of disease six months after a single treatment, Kite Pharma Inc. said Tuesday. In all, 82% of patients had their cancer shrink at least by half at some point in the study. Shares of Santa Monica-based Kite soared. They were up more than 25%, at $71.31, shortly before the closing bell. Kite is racing Novartis AG to become the first company to win approval of the treatment, called CAR-T cell therapy, in the U.S. It could become the nation's first approved gene therapy.


'Promising' test could predict whether breast cancer will come back

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Genetic changes could indicate whether a woman's breast cancer will come back, researchers have found. Around 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK, and if it returns as secondary breast cancer it cannot be cured. But scientists now believe they can test the DNA of women taking hormonal therapy to work out whether they're at a high risk of the deadly secondary cancer. This'promising' discovery could help at-risk women get early treatment or prevention, they said. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh studied tumours from 62 women who took breast cancer drugs called aromatase inhibitors.


All respond to gene therapy in a blood cancer study

The Japan Times

CHICAGO – Doctors are reporting unprecedented success from a new cell and gene therapy for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that's on the rise. Although it's early and the study is small -- 35 people -- every patient responded and all but two were in some level of remission within two months. In a second study of nearly two dozen patients, everyone above a certain dose responded. Experts at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago, where the results were announced Monday, say it's a first for multiple myeloma and rare for any cancer treatment to have such success. Chemotherapy helps 10 to 30 percent of patients; immune system drugs, 35 to 40 percent at best, and some gene-targeting drugs, 70 to 80 percent, "but you don't get to 100," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.


How alternative cancer therapies kill you

Popular Science

There's a decent chance you'll get some kind of cancer at some point. If you're a man, your odds are one in two. Your risk of dying from cancer is only slightly lower: one in four and one in five, respectively. This is a scary thought. A cancer diagnosis often means intense, brutal therapies are on the horizon.