Is the latest cancer cure claim real?

Remember, this is a Phase One study. Small population, small doses. We need to test dosing, test toxicity, and test it with larger populations. However a Phase Two study is already being planned on a similar drug against leukemia

Micromet logo, from micromet-inc.comNot yet. But it's not bad for a Friday news dump.

The claim comes from Micromet, of Bethesda, Md., based on a German study of Blinotumomab, a genetically-engineered antibody that enables white blood cells called T-cells to recognize tumor cells.

Writing in the journal Science, the German scientists describe how very low doses of this substance caused non–Hodgkin's lymphoma tumors to shrink.

In some patients, tumors disappeared entirely, and tumor cells disappeared entirely from the bone marrow and liver.

A key finding is that the bigger the dosage, the bigger the impact. That's important because Blinotumomab has some nasty side effects, including fevers and chills, confusion and tremors.

Just as exciting, this is just the first of several such substances the company plans to test, against other types of cancer.

Immunotherapy once held great promise, but previous studies found that as tumors became more advanced they became invisible to the T-cells. Making them visible could make other treatments more effective.

Just don't get your hopes too high on this.

Remember, this is a Phase One study. Small population, small doses. We need to test dosing, test toxicity, and test it with larger populations. However a Phase Two study is already being planned on a similar drug against leukemia, the company said.

A 10 AM EDT Webcast has been scheduled for Monday by the company to discuss its findings. The company's stock, which is traded on the NASDAQ, rose 20% in today's trading.

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