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Cutting Edge Cancer Technology

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - Cancer can take a tremendous toll on the human body. However, many of the treatments available are excruciating as well. Now, a local nonprofit and a bio-tech company are working hand-in-hand to change the way we attack cancer.

With every test and every sample, the goal for Cellular Engineering Technologies and the John Paul II Medical Research Institute gets closer.

It's probably going to happen within a very short period of time, says Alan Moy with CET.

Moy and Anant Kamath and are two of the people behind the efforts here at CET. They're hoping to beat Cancer by cultivating it.

It starts with taking voluntary biopsy samples from patients. Then the scientists actually grow out cancer cells artificially into petri dishes.

The production of the cells is not an easy process. So far, they've been able to grow cells in 55% percent of their cases.

It's very complicated in terms of the conditions those cells need to be kept alive and grow, says Jay Kamath with the John Paul II Medical Research Institute.

What happens next can be described as chemotherapy in a dish. The way it works now, chemotherapy is often one size fits all. The treatment can attack both cancerous and healthy cells, causing vicious side effects.

However, by growing a patient's replicated cells in a dish -

We can see which drugs work and which don't before introducing them in a human being, Anant Kamath says.

The hope is to compile the results.

As those individuals come on board, our database will increase, says Jay Kamath. And the information that we have will be more useful.

It could result more effective treatments, even cancer vaccines, ushering in a promising new chapter in the field of personalized medicine, and new hope for millions.

We want better outcomes and better survival for patients within our state and the world as a whole, Anant Kamath says.

If you want to participate in the program, you're encouraged to contact the John Paul II Medical Research Institute at 319-688-7367 to learn how
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