The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has treated the first patient with a new form of cancer immunotherapy. Derek Ruff, presently there for treatment for stage four colon cancer which recurred after a decade in remission. The dangerous disease progressed despite powerful chemotherapy and radiation.
Ruff is receiving infusions of what are called “natural killer” or NK cells made by San Diego’s Fate Therapeutics. Fate collaborates closely with UCSF’s Dan Kaufman, a national expert on these cells. The jury is still out on the drug known as FT500—but we are truly hoping it works for Mr. Ruff—this may portend hope that it will for many others. The lead physician is Dr. Sandip Patel, an expert in this area.