Game changing cancer cure?

Immunotherapy could be the next big thing in cancer treatment.
24 February 2016
Presented by Chris Smith

Chemotherapy_with_acral_cooling.jpg

This woman is being treated with docetaxel for breast cancer. Cooling mits and wine coolers are placed on her hands and feet to prevent deleterious effects on the nails. Similar strategies can be used to prevent hair loss.

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Results that scientists are describing as "unprecedented" in the treatment of cancer have been announced at a conference this week. A team led by Stanley Riddell, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the US, have developed a method to reprogramme the immune system to selectively target cancer cells. This means that, unlike traditional chemotherapy, which can't tell healthy and tumour tissue apart - and this is what causes unpleasant side effects - the immune system acts with surgical precision, selectively weeding out rogue cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue untouched. But how does this work, what are the risks and is this the game changer we've all been waiting for? Chris Smith asked Chris Rudd, who's an immunologist at the University of Cambridge where he works on this same approach, for his opinion.

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