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Medical A treatment for Cancer to replace Chemotherapy

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  1. Jun 22, 2012 #1
    Hello,

    As far as I understand Chemotherapy intends to stop cancer growth and reduce it as much as possible as well as to destroy cancerous cells in the blood stream to avoid metastasis.

    Now, and again as far as I understand, if someone else cancerous cell would enter my bloodstream my antibodies would detect it as a foreign body and kill it.

    The question is, if we make cancer patients blood go through other people in a close circuit (it could be other cancer patients), would not everyone's antibodies destroy everyone else cancerous cells in their bloodstream? would not this act in a way like chemotherapy but without side-effects?
     
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  3. Jul 1, 2012 #2
    yeah you solve the whole cancer in the blood stream issue but the not cancer that arent not in the blood stream, which is where most cancers/tumors are. Where are they? they are usually where your normal cells/tissues are.
     
  4. Jul 1, 2012 #3
    But at least it would stop metastasis without need for Chemo, right? But I guess if they don't do it already there must be reason...
     
  5. Jul 1, 2012 #4
    you are thinking of the right solutions but metastasis can happen all the time. Even if your treatment works you have to have everyone be hooked up to the treatment at all times. And of course we are assuming the antibodies works and that your own body isnt rejecting someone else's antibodies, and also remember that the original tumor is still killing the person slowly.
     
  6. Jul 1, 2012 #5
    Right... I wonder if anyone ever tried, do you know of any study? paper?
     
  7. Jul 1, 2012 #6
    sorry I am not in the cancer area.
     
  8. Jul 1, 2012 #7
    Yes, and destroy everything else. Pumping someone's body full of foreign blood has consequences; there's a reason we check for donor compatibility. As has been pointed out, it would have no effect on any cancer that does't reside in a blood stream, or on any metastasis that doesn't involve the bloodstream.
     
  9. Jul 1, 2012 #8

    Monique

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    Cells can metastasize in other ways than the blood (think the lymph system). The treatment also doesn't make sense, you're trying to catch tumor cells at the point that they enter the blood stream but before it leaves the blood stream? What if it has already spread undetectably?

    Also, did you think about what would happen to the non-cancerous cells in the blood?

    I have a better suggestion: many research groups have been looking at cancer vaccinations, where the patient's own immune cells are trained to recognize the tumor. You should investigate this line of research if you're interested.

    Cancer vaccines: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/cancer-vaccines
    Dendritic cell therapy: http://cancer.stanford.edu/research/immunology/dendritic.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. Jul 1, 2012 #9
    Oh no, I am not a biologist or anything, I was just curious about if it was possible or there were ways for someone else immune system to help a cancer patient, that's all.

    Thank you for your answer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  11. Jul 2, 2012 #10

    Ryan_m_b

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    I'm afraid this wouldn't work because of the very system you are trying to utilise. The "donor" (for lack of a better term) would produce antibodies for the patient, cycling that blood back into the patient would fill them with antibodies designed to destroy them. The antibodies to target the patient's cancer are likely to just target all patient cells.
     
  12. Jul 2, 2012 #11
    Thank you for you answer Ryan,

    Well, the idea is that the "donor" kills the cancerous cells in his body with his antibodies, I expect this antibodies will not survive once they go back inside the patient's body.

    The idea thus is to kill anything in the blood that is not blood while transiting through the "donor"

    And I mentioned this for cancer but it could be used as well other diseases like viral ones; e.g. someone cannot successfully fight an infection and you cycle that person's blood through someone that has passed that infection and his/her immune system can fight it very efficiently.

    So I am aware that if we don't do this already is because it doesn't work, but I just can't see why.
     
  13. Jul 2, 2012 #12

    Ryan_m_b

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    I think you misunderstood my reply to you viraltux (Unless I'm missing something), the antibodies will target the patient and be in the blood. So lets say we set up a system where Alice's blood is cycled into Bob, Bob starts producing antibodies against Alice's cells (we'll ignore here the time component) which target all Alice's cells. These antibodies are then in the blood that is cycled back into Alice thus killing her. In fact it's worse than that because if they aren't histocompatible then Bob will have a severe immune response and if they are Bob wont really have any response.
     
  14. Jul 2, 2012 #13
    Well, I didn't mentioned because it seemed to me so, so, so obvious that you would check for histocompatibility before the procedure that I just went on with the main idea.

    So, what you are saying is that even if both subjects are absolutely compatible in every medical way, the fact that they are connected to each other in a close circuit would kill them both because Alice's antibodies will attack Bob and Bob's antibodies will attack Alice? Do I understand you correctly?
     
  15. Jul 2, 2012 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    No I'm saying that if they are compatible then Bob wont produce antibodies and if he produces antibodies for Alice's cancer they will most likely target Alice's cells as well. That's not to say your idea of using antibodies in cancer treatments is a bad one btw, in fact it's an active area of research:

    Antibody therapy of cancer
    Andrew M. Scott, Jedd D. Wolchok & Lloyd J. Old
    http://www.nature.com/nrc/journal/v12/n4/full/nrc3236.html
     
  16. Jul 2, 2012 #15
    Yeah but, if Bob produces the antibodies, they will attack cancer cells while transiting Bob's body, meaning that those cancer cells won't go back alive to Alice's body in this scenario, which means this would clean the bloodstream from cancer cells... right?

    Edit: Thanks for the link by the way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  17. Jul 2, 2012 #16

    Ryan_m_b

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    Antigen recognition and antibody production is a process that takes days, on top of that the antibodies themselves would most likely target Alice's healthy cells. Also as others have pointed out by the time the cancer is in the blood it has metastasized from elsewhere and most likely into other tissues.
     
  18. Jul 2, 2012 #17
    Oh I see... so even if it works, it'd be of little help...

    How about with an infection? If Bob's has already developed the antibodies for a dangerous virus and we suspect Alice might have it, would connecting Bob and Alice help in any way Alice?
     
  19. Jul 3, 2012 #18

    Monique

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    Sometimes foreign antibodies are used to boost people's immune system: pregnant women, babies from an infected mother, people with a weak immune system. These antibodies do not need to come from human blood though.

    An example where foreign antibodies are life-saving are in the case of rabies: the disease develops too fast and is lethal before the body is able to raise it's own immune response. That's why people who are at risk for rabies infection are injected with antibodies, these can be from humans or horses who have been vaccinated against rabies. The antibodies are always purified.
     
  20. Jul 3, 2012 #19
    Oh I seeee...So basically we would get the job done and then bottle it up! And from horses too! that was interesting. So obviously not need for blood circuits.

    But for the sake of discussion and Hollywood script-writers; if we are in the middle of the ocean, or the jungle, or in a South Pole station with no possibility to access foreign antibody treatments in a least 10 days, and Bob has been vaccinated but Alice has not and we suspect Alice might have a rabid infection... Would this close circuit help Alice in any way?

    I guess I'm desperate to connect Alice and Bob for Hollywood's next romantic comedy :tongue:
     
  21. Jul 3, 2012 #20

    Monique

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    In the situation Bob has to be recently vaccinated, so that his antibody titer is high. Also, the blood needs to be compatible for the transfusion to succeed. It might work, I don't know how much blood would need to be transfused for sufficient transfer of antibodies.

    I don't consider these experiment for a Hollywood romantic comedy, they rather remind me of Nazi medical practices.. of course the medical knowledge is very valuable, but experimenting with people by hooking them up in a closed circuit sounds borderline to me.
     
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