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Ventura County Scientist Talks About Effort To Repurpose Cancer Treatment To Fight Other Cancers

Image shows cancer cells

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Some 1.6 million cases were diagnosed last year, and nearly 600,000 people died as a result of different forms of cancer. There are of course some treatments, but the push continues to create more effective ones. Ventura County based biotech giant Amgen is working on a cutting edge strategy which has worked with some types of cancers, but which scientists who will be effective against others as well. Center cells can be sneaky, tricking the body into accepting them so they are attacked by our built in defense systems. Carl Kolvenback is a Senior Scientist at Amgen. He says they are trying to see if an already approved treatment can be repurposed to get T cells to actively attack tumor cells. The scientist talks about some of the type of cancer they are hoping to reach by activating the T-cells. While research can often be almost an abstract concept when you are using sophisticated equipment and computers Kolvenback says they don’t forget that end goal is to come up with something which can treat serious and sometimes deadly disease. As a reminder of what it’s really about, they will sometime bring people who’ve been helped by what they’ve created to the Amgen campus, to help emphasize the importance of the projects. The scientist was sharing the research at a Thousand Oaks meeting of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, which is the world's largest society of biomedical engineers. Kolvenback says the hope is this this research is going to open the door to some new cancer treatments.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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