posted on 20 July 2016
from Daily Reckoning
-- this post authored by Ray Blanco
After decades of false starts and dead ends, we're close. Close to ending cancer. Closer than we've ever been before.
Breakthrough tech can now "reprogram" our immune system to fight cancers.
Soon, these new treatments could prove successful against nearly every cancer type you can name.
Our immune system is already great at fighting disease. But with a few tweaks, we can make it even better.
The key is to "trick" the immune system into attacking cancer cells.
It's called immunotherapy.
Some of the ways we're learning to reprogram the immune system are amazing...
Consider the recent research from Duke University. Researchers there announced early results on a cancer treatment based on the virus that causes polio.
Polio, as you know, was once a disease that plagued mankind. Now, we can harness the virus to make the immune system destroy cancer cells.
Even better, this process leaves healthy cells alone.
Recently, the FDA granted "breakthrough therapy designation" to the treatment.
The FDA wants to fast-track the drug to make it marketable as soon as possible.
But the work at Duke is far from the first immunotherapy breakthrough.
Anti-cancer immunotherapy drugs like Opdivo and Keytruda are already on the market, helping patients beat back cancer.
Plus, mankind has been trying to boost the immune system for centuries.
Vaccines are a good example. A vaccine infects you with viruses to "train" your body to fight them.
Doing the same thing for cancer long seemed possible, but remained elusive.
The immune system is, of course, incredibly complex. Cancer presents special problems. Your immune system doesn't always recognize cancerous cells as foreign.
In some cases, the cancerous cells even inhibit the immune system from realizing something is wrong. So tumors grow unchecked.
For decades, we focused on surgery, chemotherapy and radiation as common treatment.
The treatment using the modified polio virus is just one of many promising advancements in immunotherapy. This amazing new field could change medicine and finally win the war on cancer.
A host of small companies have jumped into the research race to develop the next cancer-fighting blockbuster.
Make no mistake - the immunotherapy market will be enormous. This massive biotech trend is only just now gaining steam.
To a bright future,
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