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Science  02 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6303, pp. 983-985
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6303.983

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Summary

Genetically engineered T cells have helped dozens of people with blood cancers. Now, researchers are trying to extend this cutting-edge treatment to people with solid tumors, like those spreading through the breasts, lungs, brain, and ovaries. Solid tumors are far more common than blood cancers and, if they metastasize, can be very difficult to treat. Doctors hope that the first wave of clinical trials will help chart a path toward success for a strategy that could upend cancer treatment as we know it. But the last few years have been humbling as well as exhilarating. To melt away solid tumors, T cell therapy must clear daunting hurdles it didn't face in blood cancers. So far there are glimmers of T cells' power, but nothing close to what blood cancer patients have experienced. Now, physicians are trying to figure out how to improve the odds of success while keeping risky side effects to a minimum.