Speed Reads

Medical firsts

Doctors successfully cured a woman of advanced breast cancer using a new treatment

A woman with advanced stage breast cancer was given just three years to live before she was selected to try a new form of treatment. Now, her recovery is being hailed as the first case in which immunotherapy successfully eradicated cancer cells to reach a full cure.

Judy Perkins, a Florida engineer, had already tried several rounds of chemotherapy, and they had failed to keep her cancer from metastasizing throughout her body, reports The Guardian. She was given a chance to try immunotherapy, which used her own immune cells to fight against cancer cells.

Perkins has now been cancer-free for two years. Scientists told The Guardian that her response to the immunotherapy was "remarkable" and "unprecedented" given how advanced her breast cancer was when she began the treatment. Now that Perkins has made history as the first person to make such a recovery, doctors are excited to conduct full-scale trials in the hopes that more patients can benefit from the still-experimental therapy.

"We are now at the cusp of a major revolution in finally realizing the elusive goal of being able to target the plethora of mutations in cancer through immunotherapy," one cancer researcher said. Read more at The Guardian.