Cancer: success of cell therapy

T lymphocytes are taken from fragments of the patient’s tumor and then grown in the laboratory until they reach several million in order to create a kind of personalized immunotherapy. Carlos Munoz Yague/Divergence

DECRYPTION – This advanced treatment has been beneficial to patients with skin cancer with metastases.

New hope is emerging for patients with treatment-resistant metastatic skin cancer. At the congress of the European Society of Medical Oncology (Esmo), in Paris, a Dutch team aroused great interest by presenting its research on cell therapies. This treatment track, launched in the 1980s, had passed into the shadows in the 2010s in the face of the spectacular results of immunotherapy.

But everything comes at the right time to who knows how to wait. Cellular therapy, also called TIL for “tumorinfiltratinglymphocytes”, reconnects with the light thanks to this work showing its superiority over ipilimumab (the first immunotherapy authorized on the market in 2011) for certain patients in whom first-line treatments do not work. In a phase 3 randomized trial including 168 patients, 20% of those treated with cell therapy had a complete response after more than three years of follow-up, compared to 7%…

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