tech2 News Staff Jun 05, 2018 15:39 PM IST
According to various sites, a woman suffering from an advanced stage of breast cancer that had spread throughout her body was completely cleared off the disease. It was achieved by using her own immune cells to wipe out the tumors.
Judy Perkins is 52-year-old engineer from Florida and a mother of two. According to a report by The Guardian, she was 49 when she was given a few months to live after seven types of chemotherapy failed and she had developed tumours the size of fists in her liver.
She had undergone a mastectomy in 2003 after the cancer was first diagnosed. However, it returned in 2013 and spread quickly.
There is no known cure for breast cancer patients whose disease has spread so widely.
But she has now been completely cancer free for the past two years and leads an active life.
“My condition deteriorated a lot towards the end, and I had a tumour pressing on a nerve, which meant I spent my time trying not to move at all to avoid pain shooting down my arm. I had given up fighting,” Perkins told The Guardian. “After the treatment dissolved most of my tumours, I was able to go for a 40-mile hike,” she added.
Judy Perkins is the first woman in the world to have her breast cancer completely eradicated using a technique to turbocharge her immune system.
For the treatment, the doctors, first cut small pieces of tissue from her tumor and studied it. Next, they extracted immune cells known as tumour infiltrating lymphocytes, or TILs. These are cells that had invaded the tumor to fight it, but failed.
These were then grown in billions, and 80 billion of carefully selected ones were injected into the body. After 42 weeks of tests, Perkins was completely cancer free and has remained so ever since.
According to a research article “Epidemiology of breast cancer in Indian women” by Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, in India, breast cancer has been ranked number one cancer among Indian females.
Experts believe the 52-year-old’s case could offer a blueprint to help the body’s natural defenses eradicate other cancers.
“It feels miraculous, and I am beyond amazed that I have now been free of cancer for two years,” Perkins told The Guardian.