Navigation Links
British Woman Celebrates a Year of Living Cancer-Free

LONDON, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- It's been a year since fashion designer Joanne Scott went through a cancer treatment that changed her life -- and made history to boot.

Ms. Scott, 54, was the first person in the world to receive an injection of tumor-activated natural killer (TaNK) cells as a treatment for leukemia.

Her doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in London recommended this experimental therapy after two years of traditional treatments, including chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, failed to keep her in remission. Ms. Scott didn't expect it to work. "I thought that I was gonna get really sick again," she said, "like I had before."

But the new treatment succeeded where the others had failed, sparking hope among oncologists that TaNK cells could be the key to a new type of advanced cancer therapy.

Doctors at the Royal Free injected Ms. Scott with natural killer (NK) cells taken from her daughter, Tara, who was 21 at the time. The next day, Ms. Scott was able to go home from the hospital.

"I felt fine immediately. I was going out to dinner and things like that," Ms. Scott said. "It was really nice after all the other treatments I've had, which were very, very grueling."

The idea behind the new treatment is this: NK cells, which are part of the body's immune system, will target and fight any leukemia cells that survive chemotherapy if they are activated to fight the cancer. In cancer patients, however, the NK cells are not activated and do not attack the cancer cells.

Ms. Scott's doctors activated the cells they took from her daughter into TaNK cells, which can kill even NK-resistant tumors. Within a week of the injection, the TaNK cells had survived and multiplied. Within a month, a study of her bone marrow -- the site affected by the type of leukemia she had -- confirmed that the TaNK cells were attacking her cancer.

Ms. Scott had to return to the hospital for five weeks because her neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, were dangerously low -- a consequence, she thinks, of years of chemotherapy. Since her discharge, she sees her doctor for regular blood tests and occasional platelet infusions, but otherwise, she said, her life is back to normal.

"I'm in a position where I'm self-employed. If I feel tired, I can go home or stay in bed or I can get up at midday and go to work then, but I haven't been. I've been working five days a week from 9 to 5. I've been feeling fine," Ms. Scott said.

Her good health and good mood mark a sharp change from how she felt when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) four years ago. AML is a cancer of the myeloid line of blood cells and the most common acute leukemia among adults.

"I was shocked that I had leukemia," Ms. Scott said. "I always ate healthily and exercised and all these sorts of things, and I thought I would be all right."

In patients with AML, abnormal white blood cells accumulate in the bone marrow and impede the production of normal blood cells. Common courses of treatment include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and bone marrow transplantation.

Ms. Scott underwent three to four sessions of chemotherapy -- she can't remember the exact number and doesn't want to reflect too long on such a painful part of her past -- but the cancer returned.

Her doctors treated the recurrence with an autologous bone marrow transplant, but this second round of treatment also failed to keep Ms. Scott in remission.

"I was really, really upset," she said of her second relapse. "I don't want to think about how it felt. I don't want to feel like that again."

After the transplant failed, Ms. Scott lost hope that she would survive AML. She began preparing herself for death. "When you're in your 50s, you can think, 'At least I've lived a life,'" she said. "At least I've lived to be 52."

This sense of resignation vanished after she underwent the TaNK cell therapy, Ms. Scott explained. The treatment has renewed her hope for the future. "I think to myself, 'What if I live to my 70s or my 80s?'" she said. "I want to stay healthy and live to be an old person."

Researchers at the Royal Free, led by principal investigator Dr. Panos Kottaridis, are currently recruiting patients for the clinical trial of the TaNK cell therapy, which has been licensed to Coronado BioSciences, a U.S.-based biopharmaceutical company. Three patients enrolled to date, including Ms. Scott, had failed all prior therapies before admission to the study.

"The results so far are very encouraging, as three patients with refractory disease enjoy long-term remission," Dr. Kottaridis said. "However, this is a Phase I study that has been designed to assess toxicity as the main end point, efficacy being a secondary one. It is very important for us to be able to recruit more patients and complete the current phase before moving to a multicenter international study demonstrating favorable clinical outcome."

Readers who would like to learn more about the study and patients who are interested in enrollment should visit the Cancer Research UK trial database at, contact Dr. Kottaridis by e-mail ( or consult your physician.

SOURCE Coronado BioSciences
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. The University of Nottingham in the British Midlands Announces Breakthrough in Parkinsons Disease Research
2. British Midlands University Announces Use of Gene Technology to Fight Lethal Hospital Acquired Infection
3. TAXUS WOMAN Study Reports Positive Clinical Outcomes for the TAXUS(R) Drug-eluting Stent in Women
4. Congresswoman Supporting Spinal Cord Research Intended to Benefit U.S. Veterans
5. Melanoma and Pregnancy: What Every Woman Needs to Know About the Risks, Prognosis
6. Recipient of Melanoma Drug in Development Celebrates Two Cancer-Free Years
7. Getty Images Celebrates Conclusion of Change Me Imagery Forum
8. Bayer HealthCare Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Kogenate(R) Product Line and 8 Billion IU Milestone at 2008 WFH World Congress
9. BBK Worldwide Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Industry Leadership Through Innovation in Patient Enrollment
10. American Lung Association Celebrates 101st Annual Christmas Seals Campaign
11. Study Confirms That Avastin Significantly Increases Chance of Living Without Disease Progression in Metastatic Breast Cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... the Detroit Free Press as a Top Workplace , ... to work for in 2015. ... 100 winners annually, based on employee surveys rating company leadership, ... Workplaces are based solely on employee feedback. The survey is ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , November 30, 2015 global cell ... of US$6.1 bn to US$11.3 bn by 2022 at a CAGR ... is expected to grow from its 2013 value of US$6.1 bn ... --> Transparency Market Research has announced the release of ... According to the report, titled ,Cell Culture Market - Global Industry ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... and BOCA RATON, Fla. , ... the Commercialization of Public Research (the Institute) announced ... KynderMed , a medical device start-up company with ... new company creation based on publicly-funded research, and bridges ... Florida -based universities and research institutions. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... During the National ... caregivers and held two webinars on topics of ‘Medical and Palliative Care Decisions,’ ... at . , With a loved one's diagnosis of mesothelioma, the ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... . The directory is specialized and only includes chiropractic clinics in the US. ... competent and trustworthy alternative health practitioner when back pain sets in. When people ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... In an effort ... the Word of Life Christian Church of Flint, MI, hosted a family-oriented evening ... 1.25 ton pile of candy dubbed “Candy Mountain”. , A Forever Recovery, a ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... VA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Foundation kicked off its annual fundraising campaign to raise funds for its research, ... raises approximately 10% of the organization’s annual funding. , The Mesothelioma Applied Research ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The ... in Dallas, TX, on January 29 and 30, 2016. The course welcomes dental ... of their practices, to learn how to better succeed in the modern dental ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):