The Enemy Within

 National Geographic Channel  Breakthrough, Season 2
Narrator: Sheila Vand
National Geographic/Imagine/Asylum Production 

Each episode is 50 minutes in length
6 Episodes in this series
Episode Three: Curing Cancer 

Cancer is an ugly word. It is the worst word you can hear from a person in the medical field. Cancer was always a death sentence, with planning one’s funeral as the only thing left to do. Those days are in the past now, because the treatment for cancer has so many ideas going for it, that the death sentence has been reduced to just a sentence, and the road to life is still open. 

Such is the topic of this week’s episode of National Geographic’s Breakthrough Season 2 that shows what the clinical trials in leukemia  are doing. Leukemia, a blood cancer, is the topic, but clinical trials are going on in all cancer areas such as breast, colon, brain, kidney, skin and so on. What scientists are aiming for is to have one’s own body begin to fight the disease, and they are looking for that trigger to start the process.The fact that we all have cancer cells in us, but it takes a genetic mutation of some kind to start the cancer process, is an eye-opener. 

Two examples of having your body fight back are with an adult male (Doug) and then a one-year-old girl. Doug was given a leukemia diagnosis and this type was a slow growing one. Chemo-therapy, then a few years of remission, then the disease strikes again, and this could go on for years. Doug entered a clinical trial by Dr. David Porter of the University of Pennsylvania, that used enhanced T-cells to kill cancer cells. It worked and Doug is six years cancer free. Then, in France, Dr. Andre Choulika used a similar method for a one-year-old girl with childhood leukemia and that is working. What a wondrous idea, to have your own body fight this disease. 

Leukemia means something to me. The disease took my father when I was in college and he did not see me graduate or walk me down the aisle for my wedding. Six months after he died, a drug was produced that would have prolonged his life by years. But, it was too late for us. Constant research into new areas of cancer medicines means time for everyone with that diagnosis, and to enjoy life that much longer. 

Direction, cinematography and music are excellent. 

Breakthrough: Season 2 is produced by National Geographic/ Imagine and Asylum. The series will run on television in 172 countries and in 43 languages. The six episodes are “Addiction: A Psychedelic Cure” narrated by Mike Colter and shown on May 2, 2017, “Cyber Terror” narrated by Barry Pepper and shown on May 9, 2017, “Curing Cancer” narrated by Sheila Vand and shown on May 16, 2017, “Game of Drones” narrated by JK Simmons and shown on May 23, 2017, “Predicting the Future” narrated by Aaron Eckhart and shown on May 30, 2017 and “Power to the People” narrated by Chris Pine and shown on June 6, 2017. For more information see or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Linkedin and Pinterest. 


Copyright 2017 Marie Asner