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Why wouldn't an Immune Treatment intended for another medical problem also help with autoimmune diseases?

By March 24, 2014 - 4:46pm
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I heard on the news tonight that there is a new immune treatment that is available for treating cancer that turns the immune system on. Wouldn't this also be effective in helping the body with autoimmune diseases? Would be fantastic! I know we can find the answers.

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Thank you for the clarification. What you described sounds very much like stem cell transplants. I have also looked into that, but didn't qualify because my diagnoses exceeded the time limits for qualifying. Do you know of any new meds or treatments for any of my autoimmune diseases? I'm not picky. We could start with any one of my 6. Many thanks, Anna

March 24, 2014 - 7:26pm
Guide (reply to annahurt52)

Hello Anna,

No, what I was describing is not at all similar to stem cell transplants.

Here is the link to an article featured on the National Cancer Institute website http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/research-updates/2013/CAR-T-Cells
"CAR T-Cell Therapy: Engineering Patients’ Immune Cells to Treat Their Cancers"
"One approach to immunotherapy involves engineering patients’ own immune cells to recognize and attack their tumors. And although this approach, called adoptive cell transfer (ACT), has been restricted to small clinical trials so far, treatments using these engineered immune cells have generated some remarkable responses in patients with advanced cancer."

What autoimmune diseases have you been diagnosed with? Have you asked your physician about any new medications or treatments?


March 26, 2014 - 5:02pm
(reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you for the information. I've been diagnosed with Lupus, Scleroderma, Sjogrens, Raynauds, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And, yes, I'm regularly having those conversations with my doctor. I've been down a lot of roads with minimal results. I know the answers are out there and in time will be found. I just hope sooner than later.

April 1, 2014 - 1:44pm

Hello annahurt52,

The treatment that I think you are referring to is a modification of the patient's immune system. The patient's cells are removed and genetically modified with a type of HIV virus. The patient's modified cells are infused. Subsequently, these modified cells will attack cancer cells.

This treatment is using the patient's immune system to attack cancer cells.
An autoimmune disease is a condition resulting when the body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.

These are two very different situations and that is why the cancer treatment will not work to correct an autoimmune disease.


March 24, 2014 - 5:35pm
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