Technology is opening so many doors for the human race, especially when it comes to curing different illnesses like the dreaded five-letter c-word.
Thanks to doctors like this one, science is one-step-closer to making cancer a thing of the past.
He has such an inspiring story!
This doctor who lost his mom to cancer won a Nobel Prize for discovering a breakthrough treatment.
Dr. Jim Allison learned first-hand the damage that diseases could do at a very young age. At just 11-years-old he lost his mother to lymphoma, which led him on a quest to find answers and potential cures.
While working at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Allison began making breakthroughs in the study of T-cells and their receptors.
T-cells are white blood cells in the body that fight against viral and bacterial infections. Through his studies, he discovered a new and innovative treatment involving immunotherapy.
What is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is when they treat disease by either suppressing or activating one’s immune system. For years, clinical trials of immunotherapy showed no promising results, which led many people in the oncology field to think the treatment was a lost cause—but not Dr. Allison.
Although many doubted him, Dr. Allison persevered by contacting biotech companies that might take a chance on his immunotherapy theories.
The main part of these theories was to activate the patient’s own immune system to fight against its own out-of-control cells. This perseverance would lead him to make an unprecedented discovery in immunotherapy treatment and change the entire treatment landscape!
In 2018, Dr. Allison won the Nobel Prize for discovering the role of the immune system in fighting cancer through immunotherapy.
In 1982, Dr. Allison and his team were the first to discover protein on T-cells. Ten years later in 1992, he and his team discovered that you needed a second molecule signal for the T-cells to actually activate and survive. These discoveries led to even more breakthroughs, until Dr. Allison and his team began testing his theory on mice and found that 90% of the mice survived cancer when receiving his immunotherapy.
Not even Dr. Allison was expecting such good results!
As he recalled from back then:
“I was expecting it to slow the tumors a little bit, but the tumors completely melted. I had to immediately set up the experiment again, to do all the injections, label the cages A, B, C, and D, and then go away and wait. For a couple of weeks I was really depressed. I didn’t know which mice were which, but I could tell that all of the tumors were growing. Then, all of a sudden, it looked like some of the cages were progressing, but others just stopped. Then, in the ones that had stopped, some of the tumors started necrosing and they just went away.”
Dr. Allison has even had a movie made about his extraordinary discovery.
The film, Breakthrough, delves into Dr. Allison’s quest to cure cancer, his struggle against skeptics, and his fight with Big Pharma—who wasn’t thrilled with his hunt for new and improved treatments that would make expensive chemo and radiation therapies obsolete.
Not only is Dr. Allison saving countless lives across the globe, but he’s also a great person who never gave up on his mission to help so many people.
If you haven’t seen Breakthrough it’s an eye-opening documentary that everyone should watch!
To see more on Dr. Allison’s groundbreaking work, just watch the video below!
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