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Healing Heat: Harnessing Infection to Fight Cancer

Modern immunology plus historic experiments suggest a better way to gear up the human immune system to battle malignant disease

Uwe Hobohm

Figure%201.%20A%20fibrous%20dendritic%20cell%20scans%20the%20surface%20of%20a%20T%20cellClick to Enlarge ImageA co-incidence of high fever and cancer remission has been observed in some people since the 19th century. In fact, New York surgeon William Coley treated some sarcoma cancer patients by injecting bacteria into them to induce infections back in the 1890s. Coley’s outcomes, as well as modern evidence, convince Hobohm that the innate immune system could be better harnessed to attack cancer. The German cell biologist advocates stimulating immunity components—particularly dendritic cells—to fight malignancy.


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