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Taking Charge of Your Health


Cancer, it’s safe to say, really sucks. We’ve been at war with the disease for years,
and every little breakthrough gets us closer to better ways to treat it. But just in the last couple of weeks, we’ve
taken two major steps toward a future where every type of cancer has a cure. First, leukemia took a significant hit last
week when the FDA approved the very first gene therapy available in the US. Gene therapy involves reprogramming cells
to add new genes or fix ones that aren’t working the way they should. It has a ton of potential for treating genetic
diseases, and researchers are also looking into ways to use it to target the genes and
proteins involved in different types of cancers. Now we’re finally starting to turn that
potential into reality. As of last week, gene therapy was officially
approved to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia makes the production of white blood
cells, one of the most important parts of your body’s immune system, go into overdrive. Problem is, the cells, which are produced
in your bone marrow, aren’t quite cooked before they’re released. Because they’re underdeveloped, they don’t
know what to do and just sit there in the bone marrow, clogging everything up. People with lymphoblastic leukemia experience
things like super low red blood cell counts because there’s no room for them to be produced
in the bone marrow. They also have low immunity to pretty much
everything. In adults, this type of cancer is rare compared
to other cancers. But it’s the most common cancer in children,
with about 3,000 new cases in the US every year. Gene therapy is a totally new way to fight
it. The treatment, called CAR-T therapy, takes
a form of white blood cell called T-cells from the patient. They’re then sent straight to a lab, where
they’re reprogrammed to attack the cancerous cells clogging up the immune system. T-cells are really good at spotting things
that shouldn’t be in our bodies. They do that by scanning for proteins on the
surfaces of things like viruses and bacteria using receptors that are kind of like a memory
bank for antigens — anything your immune system recognizes as a threat. If there’s a match of antigen to receptor,
the T-cell attacks. CAR-T is named for an antigen receptor that
researchers add to T-cells to trick the patient’s immune system into attacking. Essentially, the T-cell memory bank doesn’t
have a copy of the file, so we’re uploading it into the system. And it works really well. In clinical trials, there was an 83% survival
rate in patients who’d stopped responding to other treatments. It’s taken researchers a long time to get
to this point because it’s hard to reprogram cells, and it’s even harder to do it in
a way that’s both effective and safe for the patient. There are only a few other kinds of gene therapy
that have been approved anywhere in the world. But there are a lot of treatments in the works,
and this first FDA approval could be a catalyst for more. In fact, the board is currently reviewing
gene therapy treatments for a similar type of adult cancer, as well as inherited blindness. Eventually, we could see gene therapy treatments
for all kinds of different cancers, along with plenty of other diseases. This is just the first step. Also in the war against cancer this week:
Remember the Zika virus that almost canceled the Olympics last year? Well, in a paper published on Tuesday in The
Journal of Experimental Medicine, scientists may have figured out a way to use it for good
— by treating brain cancer. This isn’t the first time we’ve thought
of using a virus to attack cancer. Doctors have been using a type of herpes virus
to treat skin cancer for a couple of years now, and researchers are studying other potential
treatments. Mostly, these viruses are engineered or changed
in some way. But it’s possible that we won’t need to
do much to Zika at all. Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that’s mostly
dangerous because it attacks a developing fetus’s brain — specifically, a type of
stem cell called neuroprogenitor cells. These cells are responsible for growing a
baby’s brain, so attacking them can cause microcephaly, where the brain doesn’t develop
properly, and the baby is born with an abnormally small head. The thing is, neuroprogenitor cells are really
similar to a brain cancer cell called a glioblastoma stem cell. Glioblastoma is the most common form of brain
cancer. It leads to a tumor that can only be treated
through surgery and chemotherapy, which often doesn’t even work. That’s because of what’s left behind after
the treatment. As hard as we try, it’s really tricky to
get rid of the glioblastoma stem cells — the cells that tell the cancer to grow in the
first place. After about 6 months, the tumor generally
comes right back. But if we could get rid of these stem cells,
the cancer would be gone for good. That’s where Zika comes in. When the researchers tested Zika on glioblastoma
stem cells from human donors, the virus targeted and killed the cancerous cells while leaving
the healthy cells alone. And mice with brain tumors infected with Zika
showed a significant reduction in tumor size after just two weeks. Injecting a dangerous virus into patients
who are already very sick might sound like a kind of stupid idea. But a Zika infection isn’t a big deal for
adults, as long as they’re not pregnant or planning to have a baby anytime soon. Our brains aren’t growing, so we don’t
produce neuroprogenitor cells, which means there isn’t much for the virus to attack. It just causes a minor fever, a rash, and
maybe a headache. Most people have no idea they’re sick at
all. And just in case, the researchers are working
on ways to make the virus used for the treatment even weaker. There’s still a long way to go before doctors
start deliberately infecting people with Zika. But someday, the same virus that caused an
epidemic could save a lot of lives. Thanks for watching this episode of SciShow
News. If you’re interested in learning more about
the science of cancer, you can check out our video about why we haven’t cured it yet.

99 thoughts on “Two New Groundbreaking Cancer Treatments

  1. Quotes out of context: "There's still a long way to go before doctors start deliberately infecting people with Zika…"

  2. First researchers from Cuba made a vaccine that counters protein that helps cancer grow, the vaccine mobilizes your immune system to fight that protein.
    And USA lifted sanctions on Cuba, and now USA has a gene therapy, interesting…

  3. im excited we are finding ways to slow or even stop cancer but i am greatly worried that companies will never put these cures to the public, Cancer makes A LOT of money. if everyone can be cured, no more money flow.

  4. There is neurogenesis in adult brains: primarily in the hippocampus. Killing progenitor cells results in reduced memory and causes depression until the process recovers. This is partially why cancer survivors who beat cancer often stay depressed for awhile: I believe it was over a month after a clean bill.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4349005/

  5. Our civilization is facing the three problems with sustainability , that of of material resources , human resources ,
    economic and social activities. We need new technologies and the mentioned technology will be included in them.
    http://ameblo.jp/lovelucifer/entry-12266020322.html?frm_id=v.mypage-checklist–article-history–blog–1–lovelucifer_12266020322

    The longer we live , the higher we must uplift ourselves.
    I hope we can improve ourselves in other fields too , so that we can be worthy of such benefits …… argh !
    ( ↑ Mauled by acquaintances , saying “ Look who's talking ! ” 😅. )

  6. Pffffft, new cancer treatments don't exist! Remember everyone: Big Pharma is paying thousands of scientists and doctors to never cure cancer because there's way more money in letting people die!

  7. Gene therapy is the future. Unfortunately people doubt science's success, so they trust their lives to nature more. But science takes nature into their own hands and rather leave to chance bad things happening such as cancer, we can lay waste to that lottery and save and improve lives. I agree with Human Genetic Engineering because if my child had a gene responsible for a disease, I want it gone. I argue for the quality of life a human experiences, not what we define as a human being biologically.

  8. I need a gene treatment for my syndrome as I am the only one in the world with it and it is genetic in nature. It would have destroyed my life had I allowed it. A couple of decades ago they started saying 5 years and they would be able to fix it and every 5 years it was 5 years. It may never happen for me but if anybody can be helped by gene therapy it should be done.

  9. Also, take a look at Targeted Alpha Therapy (TAT–an adaptable treatment that can cure several different kinds of cancer) as well as Neutron Capture Therapy (NCT), which is the same idea as TAT, but essentially because we don't run any reactors that produce the TAT isotopes, they create them in the body using neutrons. TAT is probably the most promising cure we have right now, because it's already undergone human trials to remarkable success.

  10. Just a question why they do not search for people that have been infected by zika and have brain cancer and see what happen to this people because the number of infected is really big so for me this isn't impossible

  11. Better later than ever. Cancer is a horrible thing. I just lost my grandma to stage 4 glioblastoma. If it was caught sooner and this info was known a few years ago, I probably wouldn't have lost her.

  12. great video. of course i find awesome that finally gene therapy is happening but people should also care about the Zika opportunity. I think that nature always find a balance somehow. Since ever we have been curing diseases with cures of plants, afterwards animals and then virus. it's amazing how u can never level something as bad cuz it might be good for another thing.

  13. How do the reprogrammed cells get reproduced in the body? I imagine the cells that are reprogrammed aren't many compared to what our bodies produce. Do the reprogrammed cells just go through mitosis or something until they are numerous enough to actually make a difference?

  14. I'm a little disappointed that you didn't mention the massive cost of the gene therapy. 750,000 to over 1 million us dollars per patient.

  15. This video made my day.
    I have an autosomal dominant TP-53 missense mutation, which basically inactivates some of the most important tumor-suppressor functions in every one of my cells. (Think like the BRCA genes for breast cancer, but FULL BODY.)
    It's a huge relief to hear that gene therapy is gaining traction and that research is approaching treating existing cancer growth in ever more novel and creative ways. I feel safer, hearing something like this.
    Thanks, Sci-Show. =)

  16. Don't mind me thinking of the worst thing that could happen

    Nvm I can't think of the worst situation it was just blank and reprogramming our genes is a good idea unless the gene we programmed have become a error and become a bigger threat eh we never know until one day it happens

  17. So much for the nonsense about a small group of wealthy people covering up the cure for cancer. It turns out that it's just really hard to cure cancer and it's taken a long time to figure it out. But now that we know how and why it does what it does we are going to see cancer cures come out of the woodwork. Nothing is being suppressed.

  18. "New cancer treatment"? Okay.
    You still don't realize if you cut all the sugar and get your body in to Ketosis, you'll starve and kill the cancer cells. (Cancer can't use ketones, only glucose, while the rest of your body can use both).
    It's not new, and it works.

  19. But gene therapy is not a permanent cure, they will have to go every week and modify their T cells (life span of T cell). They only way is to identify the disease in the fetus and administrator the modification for a permanent cure.. otherwise it's just a pain you'll have to live with the rest of you're life with a bit of sugar coated top

  20. This might be the science channel with the lowest number of religious trolls. Remarkable considering how big it has become.

  21. I really really can't tolerate that image of antibody attaching to antigen anyone…., you can't make that mistake HERE!!!! This is sci show!!!

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  26. Very interesting video! But your facial expression is incredibly stiff and the tone of your voice should sway more based on the emotion of your context.

  27. Hank, could you guys do a show on small cell cancer & how it functions?

    My mother had small cell cancer & for almost exactly 1 year she knew and chose not to inform us kids. It was a tough road and losing mom was brutal emotionally. I would truly like to know more about small cell cancer.

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  29. I was cured a man named alfredo in Dominican republic with 12 shots goodbye cancer I am completely healthy here I leave the number who wants to really heal +18099888539 that is your whasap

  30. I was diagnosed B-cell lymphomas which are types of lymphoma affecting B cells. Lymphomas are blood cancers" in the lymph nodes. They develop more frequently in older adults and in compromised individuals.I remember being on my knees praying, “God, I will fight as hard as I can if you just let me get through this chemo stuff.” When I went in, Dr. Noy said, “I have something that’s going to help. I’m going to give you Procrit after you get your chemo.” Once I got the Procrit, I never felt again like I had after that first chemo treatment. I got tired and I didn’t feel 100 percent, but I was really okay. My cancer became very real to me once I lost my hair. But by then the mystery, the uncertainty, was sort of gone. Not gone, but it just wasn’t at the forefront. There were things that I started looking forward to doing, like going out and not just staying in the house. By then, the weather had started getting really nice, and I decided I needed to get out. I would go for a long walk or take the subway into the city and look in the store windows. It’s funny, people I didn’t know would chat with me on the bus, on the train. We would talk about anything. That made me feel a lot better. It come a day when I was told by a lady to try and do some research on the internet for help maybe there will be a cure to my Cancer.I google for treatment for cancer and I saw some testimony about the herbalist called Dr ODIA and the great work of his Herbal Herbs. With the hope I have in God I believe this to be the end of my problem for I have pray for a solution from God. I contact Dr ODIA with the giving email and also click on his website to see his work. I finally believed in him and told him about my problem. He prepare His Herbal medicine and which I was advice to take for three weeks, There are lot to say about Dr Odia, I Thanks God that this man was used to end my sorrow All my pains and sorrows turn to joy and history from the day I came in contact with Dr ODIA, Who really help with his herbal herbs, I WAS TOLD HE IS A HERBALIST AND HE CAN BE OF HELP, I gave him a try and it really work out for me, today here I'm cured of B-cell lymphomas. Contact him via: ([email protected] )

  31. Cancer is not genetic ! This is stupid medical propaganda .
    Cancer is not a medical field . Hopi indians from arizona don't get cancer. Find out why and you can cure your cancer if you get one.
    Don't trust medical drs about cancer.

  32. Did you hear about a little girl called Emily Whitehead who was the first person to be cured from her leukemia with Car T-Cell therapy because the chemo did not work on her at age six or seven years old. Now she has been cancer free for six or seven years.

  33. Unfortunately Immunotherapy doesn´t work well in solid tumors. And most people die from solid not liquid cancer.

  34. Is this the same as altering a person's DNA? Because I've heard that altering our human DNA even slightly to be done in ways that are negative for our minds and bodies. I don't want my body to be a secret scientific experiment. Also I don't want the government to mess with my DNA.

  35. For over 6 months my wife kept on complaining about indigestion, bloating and her inability to pass stool. I believe it was just constipation because we all do have this symptoms sometimes in our life. It went on for months and when her stool became black with pains around her abdomen, we knew we had to see the doctor. An ultra sound and colonscopy was carried out and then we had the shock of our lives, she was has stage 4 colon cancer with mets to her liver already.
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    My wife is a survivor, and I know she'll stay this way for a long time. I'm now a believer of alternative medicine.

  36. The add which is shown prior to the video will do what ?
    A big question in my mind

    Cancer is non treatable disease (advance stage)

    Pls talk to a good doctor
    Commercialisation is playing big role here

  37. . TESTIMONY OF HOW MY DAD GOT CURED FROM CANCER……

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  38. It’s about time! We’ve had the same barbaric treatment for years, chemo & radiation, some day we’ll look back at these two treatments , it’ll seem just as crazy as bloodletting.
    Ps: Joe Tippins ( my cancer story rocks) don’t take these barbaric treatments until you try this first and do it ASAP.

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