Print 19 comment(s) - last by Gurthang.. on Jan 10 at 2:39 PM

Melanoma  (Source:
Tests showed that the new T-cells had unlimited lifespans and longer telomeres, which are caps on the ends of their chromosomes that protect them from aging

Scientists have found a way to alter T-cells so they can fight infections and cancer better than normal immune cells.

Dr. Hiromitsu Nakauchi and a team of researchers from the University of Tokyo have given the T-cells of patients with HIV and cancer longer lifespans, which allows them to fight cancer and infections more effectively.

Our bodies have immune cells that are supposed to fight off infection and cancer, but due to their short lifespans and low numbers, they are not always able to stand up to such infections and diseases.

The researchers took the T-cells from a patient with HIV and another with malignant melanoma. The mature immune T-cells were turned into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which have the ability to differentiate into any cell type. From there, the iPSCs were redifferentiated into T-cells, but had longer lifespans and greater growth potential.

Tests showed that the new T-cells had unlimited lifespans and longer telomeres, which are caps on the ends of their chromosomes that protect them from aging. The T-cells recognized the protein MART-1, which is commonly found on melanoma tumors.

Now the team is working on testing whether the cells can fight infection without harming healthy cells.

Source: Science Daily

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RE: Bring it on!
By jingle10 on 1/6/2013 5:01:54 PM , Rating: 4
With all due respect, I imagine many people going through the horrors of cancer with a death sentence ahead of them would gladly put their hand up to be experimented on with the slightest glimmer of hope. Given the choice, wouldn't you prefer to die trying. As a bonus you may give someone else a chance even if you don't save yourself.

I am not suggesting the numerous snakeoil options, we are talking something that looks scientifically worthy. We are aware of the verification processes and why they are there, unfortunately also how long they take. I don't believe that it would kill you anymore than the terminal cancer will though.

RE: Bring it on!
By Gurthang on 1/7/2013 9:00:53 AM , Rating: 2
And his point still stands, just because a person is on a 2 months to live "death sentence". Does not mean it is ethical to give them false hope with truly experimental medicine which could kill them outright, shorten their already shortened lives, or leave them in a even more miserible state without benifit. There is a process for testing these things and there is a reason for each step of it. Could it be done better, most likely but that would mean all the various approval agencies in the world might have to agree on what kind of testing is required so that these new therapies might come to more markets faster.

RE: Bring it on!
By MrBlastman on 1/7/2013 4:20:28 PM , Rating: 2
Who are you to make that choice for them? It is their body, their life, their risk.

I say give them the choice to make, not you.

Have you ever stared at death with your eye? Have you looked it in the face knowing you might die soon?

Don't talk about things being "ethical" or "false hope" until you have.

People who are terminal are perfect subjects for radical and experimental treatments. Many of them would give anything to have a chance at living longer--knowing that it might not do them any good, or make things "worse." I know plenty that have faced situations like this. Some of them are alive to this day due to last minute experimental treatments.

We don't need a nanny or some Government agent telling us what we should and should not do in dire situations like this.

RE: Bring it on!
By cruisin3style on 1/9/2013 2:31:14 PM , Rating: 1
EXACTLY, it is one person's choice to do untested cancer treatment, have doctor-assisted suicide, allow their baby fetus to be harvested for stem cells, or to have an abortion.

No government should be telling anybody otherwise, thank you MrBlastman for your insightful arguements

RE: Bring it on!
By Gurthang on 1/10/2013 2:39:42 PM , Rating: 2
Why do I have to be close to death to understand that sometimes you really want to live and sometimes you don't? Do you want me to tell stories of the family I have watched wither and die to untreatable and agressive cancer or other unknown wasteing illneses doctors failed to treat?

My point is we must be very carefull when we are desperate as there are people who will prey on you. Just do some reading on all the crazy stuff even very smart people try when they are desperate (*cough* Steve Jobs *cough*), or what some parents of children with autism have done to their kids to try and "help" them.

I'm fine with people having access to any experimental medicine they can afford so long as it is done with full disclosure and supervision. I personally would just want anything done be well documented and results published so all can benifit. I would also like to point out that most legitimate researchers would likely turn you down anyway unless they are sure the "risks" are managable or you are exactly the right kind of subject they are looking for.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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