Health Alert | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Medical Minute 2-25: Natural Killer of Cancer

By: Vanessa Welch Email
By: Vanessa Welch Email

For 20 years, Encarnacion Miranda has been the go-to guy at a Miami car dealership. But this year, he's been fighting a quiet battle with liver cancer.

"Even my boss here at Largo Honda always says that even though I knew that I was going down and dying that I never showed a day about it," said Encarnacion Miranda.

He knew the odds were against him.

"Very scared, I was tremendously scared, but I didn't let that stop me."

"There's no one good treatment for this type of cancer," said Andreas Tzakis, M.D., Jackson Memorial Hospital.

At Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miranda received a liver transplant, and with it, a new cancer treatment that made national headlines.

The experimental treatment utilizes specialized cells in the body known as natural killer cells. Research shows after a liver transplant, these natural killers can attack any liver cancer cells remaining in the body.

"What they do is they hone in to the tumor cells like smart bombs, like guided missiles. They're going to hone into the tumor cells and kill them," said Andreas Tzakis, M.D.

Natural killer cells were extracted from the donor liver, cultured in the lab, so they would strengthen and multiply into the millions, then injected into Miranda's bloodstream.

"If this is something that can avoid any type of tumors coming back ever. Why not?" said Miranda.

Now, thanks to the new treatment, this salesman's back on the lot, with one big difference -- he's cancer-free.

For more information, call (407) 740-0789 ext. 579 or contact John Cherry at (407) 691-1500, jcherry@ivanhoe.com.


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