In a first for cancer research, a woman with advanced stage breast cancer has been "cured" thanks to an experimental new procedure. 52-year-old Judy Perkins from Florida was given only a few months to live after several chemotherapy treatments failed to stop her breast cancer from spreading.
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"My condition deteriorated a lot towards the end, and I had a tumor pressing on a nerve, which meant I spent my time trying not to move at all to avoid pain shooting down my arm," Perkins said. "I had given up fighting." Thinking that all hope was lost and she had nothing to lose, Perkins signed up for a new kind of immunotherapy at the US National Cancer Institute.
The new procedure involved a process called adoptive cell transfer where one of the tumors from Perkin's body was removed. Then all of the friendly T cells that were in the tumor were and able to recognize harmful cancer cells were identified, extracted and multiplied until the scientists had created a staggering 90 billion cancer-fighting T cells.
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Now, two years after the treatment, Perkins is still cancer-free and able to live her life normally including going on 40-mile hikes. Perkins said in an interview, "I was very skeptical about whether this treatment would work because I knew the odds were not really great. But within two weeks I could feel the tumors in my chest wall shrinking and I started to feel better. It feels miraculous and I am beyond amazed that I have now been free of cancer for two years. Experts may call it extended remission but I call it a cure."
Recently, the US government was forced to admit that Cannabis not only helps stop the growth of tumors, but it also helps fight cancer cells. Between groundbreaking new treatment such as adoptive cell therapy and the eventual federal legalization of marijuana, cancer may no longer be a death sentence.
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