A brain cancer therapy at the University of Minnesota that worked on dogs is now being tested on people. It's still experimental, but the lead researcher, Dr. Christ Moertel, says the results are encouraging.
"What we've learned so far is that it's been safe in all the people we've treated. We started at a low dose, and we've worked out way up to maximum dose of the vaccine." "We were very worried that exposing people to these brain tumors stem cell antigen might cause them to have an immune response against their normal brain cells or against other parts of their body, and we've seen no evidence of that what so ever."
A mutt they call Batman has received a vaccine made from his own purified tumor cells. That vaccine trained his own immune system to attack its own tumor. Batman recovered from the brain cancer last year, but recently died from a heart condition.
Researchers pushed on and are now testing the vaccine on humans. It is being tested on seven patients from all over the nation. Moertel says it's too early to confirm if the therapy is safe, but says things are looking good. The cancer isn't gone, but with the vaccine, it hasn't grown either.
Moertel says the vaccine has the potential to be an alternative to chemotherapy and radiation. However, there's still no timeline as to when it might be available to the public.
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