Medical Series 12 - ‘Queen of Tears’ and Cloud Cytoma

기사승인 2024.05.16  20:50:49


In the currently airing tvN’s K-Drama ‘Queen of Tears,’ the story begins as protagonist Hong Hae-In, played by Korean actress Kim Ji-Won, is diagnosed with a brain tumor called “cloud cytoma” and is told that she only has three to four months to live. This type of cancer, as the drama writes, presents as a deadly form of cancer, spreading the cancer cells throughout the entire brain. The condition is characterized by an unclear shape and spread akin to a cloud as its name suggests, contrasting with the localized clusters typical of more common brain cancers we know of. As the first episode was released, this stirred much conversation among viewers about whether this type of brain tumor exists. However, neurosurgeons and the author of the drama have come forth to clarify that it was, in fact, a fictional medical condition, created by the author.

The symptoms of the fictional “cloud cytoma” portrayed in the drama closely resemble those of a real disease called glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is a type of brain tumor that is also known as a highly challenging-to-cure brain tumor.

In ‘Queen of Tears,’ Hong Hae-In attempts treatment utilizing CAR-T therapy in Germany. CAR-T therapy involves extracting T-cells (immune cells) from the patient's bloodstream, genetically modifying them to target cancer cells, and reintroducing them into the patient’s body. This innovative approach utilizes chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) attached to the patient's immune cells to selectively attack cancerous cells. While CAR-T therapy shows promise as a next-generation anticancer treatment, its efficacy remains predominantly recognized in blood cancers, with its potential in solid tumors like brain tumors still awaiting full recognition.

While ‘Queen of Tears’ has brought attention to innovative cancer treatments like CAR-T therapy, it also serves as a reminder of the importance of distinguishing between fictional portrayals and medical realities in raising awareness about serious health conditions.





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