The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Vaccine might treat cancer
Senator Ted Kennedy, in 2009, and his friend, Senator 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%.
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.
Clinicaltrials.gov lists dozens of clinical 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. (That’s a silver lining from COVID-19, which taught us to efficiently develop more effective vaccines.) It’s one more reason to feel optimistic about your ability, in the near future, to enjoy a Great Age Reboot and be 40 at age 90.
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow.” Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@ GreatAgeReboot.com.