Successful Gene Therapy Treatment for Melanoma Announced

According to the Los Angeles Times, the journal Science announced today that Dr. Stephen A. Rosenberg and other research physicians at the National Cancer Institute treated two potentially fatal cases of the aggressive skin cancer advanced melanoma by genetically altering the patients’ white blood cells to attack the cancer tumors. However, the treatment failed on fifteen other patients, and while the two patients who were treated successfully have remained disease free for two years, there is no guarantee that the cancer will not reoccur. Nevertheless, scientists reportedly are very excited (and so am I) because this is the first major successful use of gene therapy against a deadly cancer. Bravo!