Doctors at a hospital in Cornwall in the United Kingdom believe COVID-19 helped a 61-year-old man who had recently been diagnosed with cancer to heal from the complication.
During a follow-up check on the cancer patient, doctors found that the tumours, which scans just a few weeks earlier revealed were littering his torso, had almost gone.
The patient had not yet started chemotherapy for the disease, called Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, therefore, the sudden disappearance of the cancerous cells was a complete mystery.
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In a published report, Dr Sarah Challoner, one of the doctors treating cancer at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, said she believes that infection-fighting cells, called T-cells, fought the coronavirus and the cancer cells which they recognised as ‘foreign’. She said:
We think Covid-19 triggered an anti-tumour immune response.
Meanwhile, Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia warns cancer patients against deliberately exposing themselves to COVID-19 to get healed. Hunter said:
The message for anyone with cancer is that, deliberately exposing yourself to Covid-19 in the hope it will heal you is much more likely to lead to your untimely demise than to a cure.
There is also a case reported last August in the journal Acta Biomedica of a 20-year-old man with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who was also healed of cancer after contracting COVID-19.
In the report, doctors at Cremona Hospital in Italy reported that the patient’s cancer appeared unresponsive to chemotherapy or radiotherapy but a few weeks after testing positive for Covid-19 in early 2020, scans showed cancer had gone.
Another case was reported at the Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, Italy in February in the European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging in which all signs of lymphoma rapidly disappeared in a 61-year-old man who caught Covid-19.
However, British experts stress that such cases of spontaneous remission are probably more likely to occur in blood cancers such as lymphoma than solid tumours, such as breast, lung or prostate.
More: Daily Mail