Treatment for Blood Cancers Shows Promise Against Solid Tumors

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An immune system-boosting treatment used to fight blood cancers shows early promise in treating some solid tumors, researchers report.

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In CAR-T therapy, some of a patient's own cells are genetically modified to to help them recognize and attack cancer. CAR-T was approved in 2017 for some leukemias and lymphomas, the Associated Press reported.

Now, the effectiveness of CAR-T in treating solid tumors was assessed in 19 patients with mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the lining of the lungs, and two patients with lung and breast cancer that had spread to the chest lining.

After CAR-T, one patient was able to have surgery and radiation, and is doing well 20 months later with no further treatment. Fifteen other patients were well enough to start taking a drug that uses a different approach to bolster the immune system, the AP reported.

Results were available for 11 of the 15 patients. Two had signs of cancer disappear for about a year, but one later relapsed. Tumors shrank in six patients, but cancer returned in three.

Details on the cases were presented Sunday at an American Association for Cancer Research conference in Atlanta.

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