Las Vegas Review-Journal

Vaccine appears to treat brain cancer

- Email questions for Mike Roizen to youdocsdai­ly@

Sen. Ted Kennedy, in 2009, and his friend, Sen. John Mccain, in 2018, died on the same day from glioblasto­ma. Glioblasto­ma accounts for almost half of malignant brain tumors and affects men more than women — at an average age of 64. Survival in year two after diagnosis is only 17 percent.

That’s why the recent breakthrou­gh treatment developed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is so exciting. Using gene engineerin­g, they took living human cancer cells and redesigned them to release a cancer cell-killing agent, and they made it easier for the immune system to spot cancerous cells and KO them.

As the study published in Science Translatio­nal Medicine explains, this works because the altered living cancer cells are like homing pigeons and flock to their fellow cancer cells wherever they’re lurking. Once there, these weaponized versions kill those cancer cells — without damage to any other tissue.


Clinicaltr­ lists dozens of trials recruiting participan­ts to test various approaches to treat glioblasto­ma, but as of this writing, there’s not one for testing this dual-acting, geneticall­y engineered concept on humans. Nonetheles­s, the era of effective anti-cancer vaccines is approachin­g — we already have ones to prevent cancer related to HPV and to treat metastatic prostate cancer and early-stage bladder cancer, and there are ongoing trials for breast cancer vaccines.

Drive for 5

Most folks don’t come close to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says are the essential five servings a day of fruits and veggies. Only 12.3 percent of Americans get the daily minimum of fruits

(1.5 to 2 cups daily) and only 10 percent meet the minimal veggie recommenda­tion

(2 to 3 cups of veggies a day).

Why are so many folks remiss about eating what’s good for them? According to researcher­s at Bournemout­h University, it often comes from a lack of understand­ing about what constitute­s a serving.

■ One vegetable serving equals 2 cups raw leafy greens, or one cup cut-up vegetables, or 1 cup 100 percent vegetable juice, no added sugar or salt.

■ One fruit serving equals one medium whole fruit or one cup cut-up fruit; onehalf cup dried fruit.

Bonus: To keep track of how much you are — or aren’t — eating, U.K. researcher­s created a cool, free SMART 5-A-DAY app. You can gloat about being a GOAT — a Great Organizer of Anti-aging Tastes.

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