Doctors today use genetic testing as a way to gauge if a woman diagnosed with breast cancer is able to skip chemotherapy.
A woman in Florida who doctors gave only months to live used an experimental immunotherapy and is now cancer free said researchers.
Judy Perkins, who is 49, said that she was given just three months to live when diagnosed with an advanced form of breast cancer that was quickly spreading throughout her body.
Perkins said tumors in her liver were the size of tennis balls and she had secondary cancers in several different areas of her body. Perkins said she could not be treated using conventional therapy.
However, the therapy she was treated with, pumped into her body 90 billion immune cells that were cancer-killing. She told her interviewer that she could feel changes almost instantly.
Approximately one week after her therapy started, Perkins said she began to feel something strange. She said one of the tumors on her chest started to shrink and she could feel it getting smaller and after a week or two it completely went away.
She said that the medical staff where she was receiving treatment became very excited and jumped around after the tumors she had, began to diminish in size.
The National Cancer Institute in the U.S. said the therapy used was in its experimental stage and it could create changes in cancer treatment.
The institute’s chief of surgery Dr. Steven Rosenberg said this therapy began after the examination of the tumors of a patients and then using the white blood cells of the patient to attack the tumors.
The white blood cells of the patients are screened by scientists and those that are capable of attacking cancer are extracted and then cells are grown.
The same mutations that are responsible for causing cancer have become the Achilles heel of the cancer itself, said Rosenberg.
The doctor stressed that the therapy was still “highly experimental,” and that there was a great deal of work that still needed to be done, but a potential exists for cancer therapy to have a paradigm shift equal to a unique drug for each cancer patient.
Perkins said she is enjoying her recovery by backpacking, kayaking and traveling.