It has been all over the news, but I have been waiting for our trusted ally Chaya Venkat over at CLL Topics Updates (a top-notch CLL patient information and advocacy blog) to weigh in on the real story. She is brilliant on the subject and loved by many for her tireless advocacy and work translating medical research papers into plain English for the rest of us.
[Go to her blog and GIVE HER A DONATION! Medical conferences are expensive, and happen all over the world. She is a saint. Really.]
I will not pretend to be a medical researcher, but suffice it to say that some folks have figured out how to modify a CLL patient's own T-cells (the little guys who patrol your body and kill the bad cells) then reintroduce them into the patient whereupon they specifically attack and kill the cancer cells.
Preliminary results have been outstanding. So far patients have been in complete remission for 10 months (since shortly after the clinical trial was begun).
This is good news for our Luizinho.
Is this a cure? – no (not proven as such just yet). Is this available now? No, only in clinical trials. Is this a great breakthrough? Very smart people say YES. Are there risks? Yes.
Does this make us happy? YES!
News in the press is here: MSNBC ; Yahoo News ; New York Times ; CBS News