Experimental cancer treatments might surprise us in the future. Sue Scott is a woman that had no hope left. She was suffering from cervical cancer, and it was quickly spreading. The tumors were large and they were on her colon and liver.
Since there were no other alternatives left, she agreed to test immunotherapy. In this experimental trial doctors tried to replace immune systems of the patients with T-cells that were supposed to attack cancers that are caused by HPV.
After just a few months of therapy, Sue was shocked to see that her tumors had disappeared completely. This happened back in 2013, and she has been cancer free ever since. Her case was the best proof that this therapy is actually working and it provided a new source of hope for many patients.
Now Sue advocates for cancer patients. She explained that “One of the biggest rewards is being a source of hope, and being an ear for other people.” Her case also helped doctors make new discoveries that can be used to treat other patients.
The doctor is a cancer survivor himself
Dr Christian Hinrichs, the doctor that conducted the trial is also a cancer survivor. His cancer, ocular melanoma, is so rare that it only affects six in every one million people. He was forced to remove his affected eye, but this experience only made him want to help other people.
He focused on HPV tumors because it is easier to treat them with immunotherapy. That is because these tumors have viral antigens that can be recognized easily by the immune system. Miriam Merad is a professor oncological science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Merad also appreciated the work of Dr Hinrichs and described it as “very clever”.
Karen and her husband live on a plot of land in British Columbia. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. They are also currently planning a move to a small cabin they hand built. Karen’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Thus sprung Anna’s interest in backyard gardening, chicken and goat keeping, recycling and self-sufficiency.