It's such an exciting time to be a cancer researcher. For the last few years, scientists have been trying to find a way to boost a patient's immune system so that it can destroy cancer cells on its own--without chemotherapy. The technique is called cancer immunotherapy, and many doctors think it may hold the key to a cure.
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Now they seem to be one step closer. German researchers have developed a vaccine that boosts production of T-cells--our infection fighting cells--and causes them to attack tumors as if they were viruses. And it does it with no side effects.
Even better, a low-dose of the vaccine has been tried out on three people in advanced stages of different types of cancer--and in all three cases, the tumors shrunk or disappeared. Researchers have seen the same effect on mice.
The next step is to test the vaccine out on more patients to see if what looks like a universal vaccine really is--but this looks truly hopeful.
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For more hope, check out these celebrities in the gallery below who've had cancer--and survived.
Edie Falco: Breast cancer, 2004 Falco kept her treatment a secret from her Sopranos co-stars. “Surviving cancer has a way of making you re-prioritize," she's said. In her case, it meant starting a family.