close to beating cancer, immunotherapy is not suitable or successful in
treating all patients : Italian authority
Rome, Feb 5.
Medical science has made major strides in defeating cancer
including progress in boosting our resistance to the disease, a leading Italian
oncologist said. “Tumours are smart, but we are really close to beating
them and to making our bodies better able to fight them,” Giampaolo
Tortora, director of the Medical Oncology at Rome’s Policlinico Gemelli’s
teaching hospital, told Adnkronos Salute in an interview.
working at full capacity on the Policlinico Gemelli’s new ‘Cancer
Centre’,” said Tortora, who is a pioneer in treating cancer of the
pancreas. He was speaking on the World Cancer Day on Monday.
The new centre will be able to bring together and coordinate the hospital’s extensive oncology work, Tortora underlined.
alone, the Policlinico Gemelli treated 48,000 patients, a “monstrous”
number which is far higher than the number of cases handled by many oncology
centres, Tortora noted.
“In the field of oncology, the Gemelli is a powerhouse,” he said.
30-year career in oncology, Tortora said he had seen many advances in
have been two or three key moments in this revolution and the current one
involving immunotherapy is the most solid,” said Tortora.
and molecular targeted therapy, we had the illusion that we could solve
everything but then there were setbacks.”
not mislead patients about immunotherapy, which is not suitable or successful
in treating all patients, Tortora warned.
the cases were it works, patients have responded well and have not had
recurrences,” Tortora said.
recurrences is one of the most difficult problems to overcome,” he said.
Tortora described the current state of research on the immune system as “an iceberg” of which “we can only see the tip”.
of microbiota in cancer and its treatment is another area of medical
research that has the potential to accelerate our weapons to fight cancer,
be able to improve our resistance to cancer and better modulate the effects of
immunotherapy,” he stated.
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