Your Health: New cancer treatment gives hope to patients

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 5:28 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - More than 80,00 people will be diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma this year.

It’s a cancer of the white blood cells that is difficult to treat, but new groundbreaking treatments could change the game for cancer patients.

Brooke Michael, number 12, has been a catcher for as long as she can remember.

“I’ve loved it ever since I put the gear on for the first time,” she said.

Her mom and dad watched every battle on the field and were concerned when her shoulder started hurting her.

“She called me one day when her and her sister were at pitching practice and she was in tears saying she couldn’t breathe,” recalled her mother, Stephanie Michael.

Brooke was diagnosed with b-cell lymphoma.

“She had a massive tumor on her chest. It literally was the size of a softball,” Stephanie said.

After six rounds of chemo and 29 rounds of proton radiation helped shrink it, but the cancer was still there. That’s when doctors decided to try a combination of gene therapy and immunotherapy called CAR T-cell Therapy.

T-cells, which are a type of immune cell in the body, are taken from the patient’s blood. Using gene therapy, doctors reprogram the cells to attack cancer cells.

Studies show that up to 40% of the children who get it go into complete remission. It worked for Brooke, who is back in the game and cancer-free.

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