Our work will benefit millions worldwide
At Continuum, we are committed to finding a cure for cancer. Our innovative approach to cancer research is focussed on identifying and understanding what it is that makes some people able to survive cancer and remain cancer free. It is built on the belief that immunotherapy, which harnesses our immune system to stop cancer, is the key to the future of cancer care. Immunotherapy is already saving lives. We want to ensure it saves millions more and transforms the treatment of cancer.
“Continuum Life Sciences was borne from my own experience of surviving numerous battles against multiple malignant cancers and has highlighted to me that there is therapeutic potential to be learned from individual cancer survivors such as myself. I intend to harness this potential in order to tackle the treatment of cancer in a new and innovative way.”
Dr James Hull, Founder
Why Continuum Life Sciences may create a monumental breakthrough in cancer treatment
When, twenty-five years ago, I started working on understanding how our immune system might be used to combat cancer, researchers and pharma companies – everyone! – had turned their back on what is known as immune therapy for cancer.
Well, almost everyone. A few scientists held on to the idea of using the immune system against cancer because of some rare observations that, if people in the field had really thought about them, should have made everyone sit up and take note. I have often made this point in conference talks, using the following example: Several decades ago, patients who had had a cancer but then apparently had been cancer-free for many years, occasionally were accepted as organ donors. This turned out to be a very unfortunate practice because, invariably, the new host who received the organ soon would be overcome by cancer. Examinations showed that in every case the cancer came from the donated organ. The new host was very badly equipped to fight the alien cancer because in order not to reject the new organ, they had received immune-suppressive treatment. The practice of using organs from ‘cured’ cancer patients was duly stopped, but the unfortunate practice enables two crucial conclusions about cancer and the immune system to be drawn.
The first and rather gloomy conclusion is that, even if a patient appears to be cancer-free for many, many years, it seems clear that the cancer can still silently, stealthily exist in the body, even if it can’t be detected. In fact, it may well be that it is impossible to eradicate cancer and, if an apparently cancer-free patient becomes immune-compromised, they may still succumb to their disease.
The second and vital conclusion is that the immune system clearly is capable of exercising long-term complete control over cancers. We know this because, in the donor who previously had cancer, that cancer was still present later, since it transferred with the donated organ. Why then can’t we make the immune system establish this control over cancer in all patients?
The reasons are, in some ways, quite simple. We don’t yet understand how the immune system can exercise control over cancer, and so we don’t know how to interfere in the massive majority of cancer patients in whom the immune system appears to be blind to the disease. And the reasons we don’t yet understand is that we have had neither the patients nor the scientific tools to investigate.
This is where Continuum Life Sciences comes into the picture and why the Company and its approach is unique.
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