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NJCardFan
09-13-2011, 04:02 PM
You've heard me about this time last year talking about my father-in-law going through an experimental treatment for leukemia and how he had a 100% turnaround(he's still in remission). Well, the treatment has been in the news lately. My FIL was on NBC Nightly News in August and now the NY Times has done an article on the treatment and he was interviewed:


An Immune System Trained to Kill Cancer

PHILADELPHIA — A year ago, when chemotherapy stopped working against his leukemia, William Ludwig signed up to be the first patient treated in a bold experiment at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Ludwig, then 65, a retired corrections officer from Bridgeton, N.J., felt his life draining away and thought he had nothing to lose.

Tiny magnetic beads force the larger T-cells to divide before they are infused into the patient.
Doctors removed a billion of his T-cells — a type of white blood cell that fights viruses and tumors — and gave them new genes that would program the cells to attack his cancer. Then the altered cells were dripped back into Mr. Ludwig’s veins.

At first, nothing happened. But after 10 days, hell broke loose in his hospital room. He began shaking with chills. His temperature shot up. His blood pressure shot down. He became so ill that doctors moved him into intensive care and warned that he might die. His family gathered at the hospital, fearing the worst.

A few weeks later, the fevers were gone. And so was the leukemia.

There was no trace of it anywhere — no leukemic cells in his blood or bone marrow, no more bulging lymph nodes on his CT scan. His doctors calculated that the treatment had killed off two pounds of cancer cells.

The rest at the link (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/health/13gene.html?_r=1&emc=eta1)

malloc
09-13-2011, 04:10 PM
Congratulations! That was a pretty gutsy move on his part! Two pounds of mutated, cancerous cells! This is really quite amazing and something to be excited about. I think the research to be done your FIL's case alone will be enough to fill reams of scientific papers, citations, and keep interns and students for years and years to come.

noonwitch
09-13-2011, 04:15 PM
Do you know how many other conditions this treatment could be used in? My sister has Crohn's disease, which is caused by an immune deficiency. HIV turns into AIDS when the T-Cells stop working and start to die.

Your father in law's courage in participating in this experimental treatment could lead to some major breakthroughs in medicine, for a lot of different conditions and diseases.

NJCardFan
09-13-2011, 04:20 PM
Believe me when I tell you that for a minute there we thought we were going to lose him, I wasn't kidding. My MIL called me up and was so forlorn. They gave her the do not resuscitate papers, she refused to sign them and she called his kids to come up to the hospital. I tried to reassure my MIL that it wasn't time for him to go and that it sounds like the treatment was taking his immune system down to nothing then basically rebooting it. Which it did. And I might add that this treatment and experiment was privately funded.

NJCardFan
09-13-2011, 04:22 PM
Do you know how many other conditions this treatment could be used in? My sister has Crohn's disease, which is caused by an immune deficiency. HIV turns into AIDS when the T-Cells stop working and start to die.

Your father in law's courage in participating in this experimental treatment could lead to some major breakthroughs in medicine, for a lot of different conditions and diseases.

My MIL just told me that he was contacted by someone wanting to do a documentary on this and he wants nothing to do with it. He's a very private person so this doesn't surprise me.

noonwitch
09-14-2011, 09:02 AM
My MIL just told me that he was contacted by someone wanting to do a documentary on this and he wants nothing to do with it. He's a very private person so this doesn't surprise me.


Luckily, the doctors who performed it don't need to violate his privacy to document their treatment of him. I'm impressed by the science behind it all and by your FIL's willingness to participate.

jediab
09-14-2011, 10:14 AM
This is awesome news! I am very happy for you and your family!

Are the DRs concerned with any long term effects that could show up from introducing something so radical into the body?