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Development of Personalized Cancer Vaccine Will Use Patients Own Immune System to Overcome Cancer

Development of Personalized Cancer Vaccine Will Use Patients Own Immune System to Overcome Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Training immune cells with genes harvested from a patient’s own tumor could make an already promising new cancer treatment even better.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A new cancer therapy is under trial based on engaging the immune system to overcome the cancer.

It begins with a piece of the tumor material being surgically removed. RNA is then extracted from that material as a means of identifying all of the active genes present in the tumor.

The collection of active genes then eventually becomes a vaccine for the patient’s immune system. The vaccine preparation involves collecting white blood cells of the immune system from the patient. Those immune system cells are then modified with the tumor genes found earlier so that they can learn to target the mutations found specifically in the patient’s own cancer cells. The modified cells are then introduced back into the patient and will alert other immune system cells to attack the cancer.

An ongoing randomized study is in progress, based on the success of a smaller trial.

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Who Owns Your Genes? Maybe Not You!

Who Owns Your Genes? Maybe Not You! | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
This ongoing debate on gene patents boils down to one simple question: Should anyone, in this case Myriad Genetics, be allowed to patent human genes? For me this case is personal.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

On April 15, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a landmark case challenging Myriad Genetics' intended patents on the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2.

If Myriad Genetics is granted a patent, it will mean that you don't "own" your own genes, the cellular chemicals that define who you are and what diseases you might be at risk for.

Quoted from Nancy Stordahl’s article here are some reasons why Myriad's monopoly on the "breast cancer genes" is a bad idea:

Myriad retains exclusive rights to all testing and research on BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. This means that sharing of data and analysis is blocked, undermining further collaborative scientific research efforts.

Myriad can keep testing costs high indefinitely (and they have).

Second opinions are impossible.

The patents mean continued limited access/information/treatment for underserved populations.

This monopoly creates a barrier standing in the way of further breast and ovarian cancer research.

The idea that human genes can be patented is flawed, sets a dangerous precedent and is just plain wrong.

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