Science Non-Fiction

UNC Medicine has pioneered scientific advancements and new treatments. This commitment to innovation has led us to emerge as a national leader in numerous new areas that at one time would have been considered science fiction. But the reason we push the boundaries of discovery is simple: to create better outcomes for our patients.

In January 2016, 60-year-old Ian Dale of Cary, N.C., was diagnosed with an aggressive form of anaplastic large cell lymphoma. Traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments couldn’t stop his cancer from relapsing. For Dale, the UNC Bone Marrow and Cellular Therapy Program offered a final chance in the form of a clinical trial; one that genetically altered his immune cells (T-cells) to recognize and destroy cancer cells with limited side effects. Dale, who is now officially in remission, is living proof that cellular immunotherapy shows great promise.

“I have a whole new lease on life. I’m here when I probably wouldn’t be,” Dale said. “I actually had a scan and was given the all clear. I’m officially a survivor.”

UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of only a few centers nationally to have the capabilities to develop and deliver this line of treatment. Trials are planned for up to a half dozen types of cancer that could respond to the therapy. Immunotherapy represents the powerful future of cancer treatment, and we are helping to lead the way — clearing a path to survival for patients.

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