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May 4, 2020 19 min
“We're perhaps working now at 10% of where we were working before the COVID infections. It's heartbreaking to think what cancer patients are going through as they're watching their cancers grow, and yet have to deal with this threat of the virus and problems in getting access to care.” When Steven Rosenberg joined the National Cancer Institute more than 45 years ago, he was determined to prove that a patient’s own immune system could be used to fight cancer. His interleukin-2 therapy was approved by the FDA for cancer in 1992, leading to many more advances and resulting in thousands of lives extended and saved. Today, this pioneer of immunotherapy is seeking to better understand how to use those same advances to fight COVID-19. “We're taking information that we've learned from cancer treatment and learning to at least control some of the morbidity that occurs from a viral infection, which comes from the vigorous immune reaction and the release of hormones that causes many of the side effects of COVID.”
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