Rancho Cordova company using people's cells to cure future diseases - CBS Sacramento

2022-09-03 07:20:23 By : Ms. Dora Zhan

The medical community is banking on patients banking their blood and using their own cells to cure future diseases.

A local company helping those with terminal illnesses.

Dr. Maxwell Jen is an anti-aging doctor in southern California who jumped at the opportunity to bank his immune cells at age 35.

"We encourage the exercise, eating well, and don't smoke but beyond that are there steps we can take to stave off deaths from cancer," said Dr. Jen. 

Both he and his wife banked their immune cells -- a procedure gaining in popularity after the FDA approved its use in treating six different blood cancers-and it cure or partially cured patients 90 percent of the time. There are 1,000 more clinical cancer trials ongoing.

"So we can see in the next 10-20 years your own immune cell could be a strong weapon to fight against these life-threatening diseases," said Jen. 

Dr. Chris Xu is on the frontlines battling these diseases at his company called Thermogenesis in Rancho Cordova.

"We are making some of the unique devices to process the immune cells," said Xu. 

They specialize in car-t cell therapy.

"This is a very fast-moving field," said Xu. 

The issue is when patients realize they need their own cells it's too late.

"All of a sudden they find they don't have their own immune cells. Because unfortunately, the cancer treatments such as chemo and radiation therapy destroy patients' own immune system," said Xu.

They are helping make the process more accessible and affordable -- the cost of a cup of coffee a week.

"So normally, we go to donate a blood unit that means 450 milliliters to store immune cells we only need 200 ml of blood," said Xu. 

He showed us how the immune cells are stored.

"It's a tank filled with liquid nitrogen to store the cell," he said. 

Saving the immune cells saves lives. Preventative medicine is more like a preventative cure, says Dr. Jen.

"While harvesting your car-t cells is not going to prevent you from contracting cancer. You have taken the initial steps to treat yourself if that unfortunate event ever rises," he said. 

Recently, using a donor's HIV-resistant cells has proven to cure AIDS. The whole process is similar to cord-blood banking. To learn more, click here. 

Reporter Rachel Wulff reports weekdays for CBS13.

First published on August 30, 2022 / 1:16 AM

© 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.