. >> reporter: husband mark puffer. >> they called debbie a rapid responder. >> reporter: puffer's improvement was not a fluke. 21% of 61 patients were still alive three years after treatment compared to just 4% typically seen with standard care. could you ever have imagined having a response rate that high? >> it's just mind-blowing to us that have been working on it for so long because this is based on absolutely bedrock scientific principles. >> reporter: last year puffer was retreated when her tumor showed signs of returning. >> maybe this time we killed the dragon, i'm not sure. >> reporter: despite some memory and vision problems, she can now see a future. >> i'm meant to be here for a reason. i don't know what that reason is, but i'm sure going to hang around to find out. >> reporter: dr. jon lapook, cbs news, new york. >> coming up next from san francisco, the homes are called million dollar dumps, but the prices keep going up. >>> and later the medal of honor recipient who single-handedly beat back a nazi attack and kept her heroism a secret. >> tell us about the charges t
reporter: 61-year-old debbie puffer has been a patient at duke university since 2014 when doctors began treating her deadly brain cancer, glioblastoma, with a most atlikely weapon: polio virus. at first she was skeptical. >> i was just going to go home and bury my head in the sand, nod then i realized, no, no, i'm not supposed to do that. >> reporter: for the last four years, "60 minutes" has charted the journey of doctors and patients turned medical pioneers. the polio virus, genetically modified so it can't cause polio, is injected directly into the tumor, attaching to a inotein on the cell's surface. it begins its attack on the e mor, then jump-starts the immune system to finish the job. dr. darrell bigner is part of the team at duke. so it's kind of a one-two punch? >> exactly. but the most important part we believe actually is the secondary immune response. >> reporter: one month after treatment... >> it started to break the tumor up. >> reporter: husband mark puffer. >> they call debbie a rapid responder. >> rapid responder. >> reporter: puffer's improvement was not a fluke.
Fetching more results