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This cancer treatment works like a flu shot

(CBS) – At 15-years old, Rutledge was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a bone cancer that spreads quickly. She came to the Mary Crowley Cancer Center for an experimental treatment.

“When I was in chemo therapy, it’s five days in the hospital of intense … it’s very intense. Immune therapy could not be more the opposite. I would fly in and out in one day and get a shot.”

Baylor just made it through the first phase of FDA approval for the immunotherapy treatment of Rutledge’s cancer. Doctors say it is a landmark victory that could change the way they treat many other types of cancers.

“Change from an acute deadly disease to a chronic disease, probably we do the same for hypertension or diabetes. We don’t cure, but we control the disease,” says Doctor Maurizio Ghisoli.

This immunotherapy is a shot typically given once a month. It’s a personalized vaccine developed from cells taken from the patient’s tumor. The therapy injects customized genes back into the body so the cancer can no longer resist the patient’s immune system.