Create a thread in which you will introduce yourself by first stating your name and major. Then let’s use a fun ice-breaker game (2 truths and a lie) to know each other a little better.

Create a thread in which you will introduce yourself by first stating your name and major. Then let’s use a fun ice-breaker game (2 truths and a lie) to know each other a little better. Basically each one of you will create a thread and make 3 statements about yourself in which 2 are true and 1 isn’t! Each one of you will then have to respond to two threads in which you will guess the lie from 2 other postings.

Case Study
Cancer is a feared and devastating disease that will affect one in three Americans in
their lifetime. Although the number of cancer deaths has declined in recent decades,
one in four deaths in the United States is still caused by cancer. Because age is the
greatest risk factor for cancer, more than 75% of new cancer cases occur in those
who are 55 and older. This segment of the population is increasing in size, and, as a
result, cancer may soon become the leading cause of death in the United States.
However, results from the Human Genome Project and the development of new
technologies have revolutionized the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer,
offering optimism that the impact of cancer as a public health problem can be
reduced. Researchers and clinicians are now working together to rapidly move new
genetic discoveries from the laboratory to the hospital bedside, a process called
translational medicine (The union of research and medicine that seeks to quickly
translate research findings into methods for the diagnosis and treatment of
diseases.) . The diagnosis and treatment of cancer is a high priority for many of
those working in translational medicine.
Cells of the immune system (purple) attacking a cancer cell (green).
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Cells of the immune system (purple) attacking a cancer cell (green).
Sebastian Kaulitzki/
One of the most promising new methods involves stimulating the immune system to
identify, attack, and kill cancer cells. This method, called immunotherapy (A
method for treating disease by stimulating or enhancing an immune response.) , is
one example of how basic research on the immune system developed into one of
the newest and most promising tools in cancer treatment.
The immune system is a collection of organs, cells, and molecules produced by
these cells that help protect the body against infection by viruses, bacteria, and
other disease-causing agents. The immune system works by attacking anything
recognized as foreign, usually by first detecting molecules on the surface of invading
viruses and cells and then mobilizing to attack and inactivate or kill the invader.
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Cancer cells often carry surface molecules that are not recognized by the immune
system. Sometimes the immune system recognizes the cancer cells as foreign but
does not respond strongly enough to kill all the malignant cells. Some cancers
evade the immune system by producing molecules that repress the immune
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania worked to reprogram immune cells so
they would recognize, attack, and kill cancerous cells. Their target was abnormal
immune system cells that cause leukemia. Basic research had discovered that
normal white blood cells (called B cells) and cancerous B cells that cause leukemia
carry a unique surface protein called CD-19. If immune cells could be
reprogrammed to attack and kill all cells carrying this protein, the treatment might
bring about remission. To do this, the scientists removed immune cells from a 64-
year-old man with an advanced form of leukemia called CLL. In the laboratory, the
immune cells were genetically reprogrammed by inserting a gene that encodes a
surface protein that binds to the CD-19 protein and triggers the death of CLL cells.
The immune cells also received instructions to produce chemical signals that would
trigger multiplication of other immune cells to focus on total destruction of the
leukemia cells.
After modification, the immune cells were returned to the affected mans body in the
hope that they would identify and kill all the cancerous cells. For the first 2 weeks
after treatment, there were no changes in the number of cancer cells, although
blood tests showed a large increase in the number of genetically modified immune
cells. However, on day 14, the patient developed chills, nausea, and fever and
tumor cells began to die in large numbers. By 28 days after treatment, there were no
signs of leukemia. This therapy was extended to two other patients with advanced
forms of CLL. One patient experienced complete remission; the other had temporary
remission, followed by a relapse and death. In spite of the small number of patients
treated and one death, the results were considered a success. The only other
available treatment was a bone marrow transplant, a procedure that has a 20% risk
of death and only a 50% chance of success for the survivors.
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This work spurred efforts by other research teams to develop similar methods to kill
leukemia cells, and the field of immunotherapy was born. In 2013, the University of
Pennsylvania team reported that 15 of 32 individuals with CLL responded to
immunotherapy, with 7 showing complete remission. Treatment of individuals with a
form of leukemia called ALL showed 86% remission in children and 100% remission
at 6 months after treatment in adults. These encouraging results led a leading
scientific journal to select cancer immunotherapy as the scientific breakthrough of
the year for 2013. The University of Pennsylvania has entered into an agreement
with a large pharmaceutical company to further develop and market immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy doesnt help everyone with cancer, and more research is needed to
understand why. But the survival of so many individuals with advanced disease
gives new hope that linking genetic research with clinical medicine will dramatically
change the way cancer is treated.