A wonderful rescue. Experimental treatment helps 13-year-old girl achieve remission of leukemia
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Without this treatment, palliative care would be the only option for the child.
In 2021, 13-year-old Alyssa was diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia, acute T-cell lymphoblastic leukemia. Her blood cancer did not respond to standard treatment. Including chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation, writes Science Alert.
At London's Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital (GOSH), a girl was included in a clinical trial of a new method of treatment based on the use of genetically modified immune cells from a healthy volunteer .
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After 28 days, the cancer went into remission, and as a result, doctors were able to perform a second bone marrow transplant, which is necessary to restore the immune system. Half a year later, Alyssa, 13, is doing well and is now at home in Leicester, Central England, where she is receiving much needed aftercare. miraculous”, although doctors still need to monitor and confirm her current condition.
Note that acute lymphoblastic leukemia is one of the most common types of cancer in children. The disease affects the cells of the immune system (B and T cells) that fight viruses and protect the immune system.
According to Chiesa, Alyssa was the first known patient to be given base-edited T cells, which involves translating the DNA code letters that contain the instructions for a particular protein.
Back in 2015, researchers at GOSH and University College London developed the use of edited T-cells to treat B-cell leukemia.
However, when using this method to treat other types of leukemia, researchers encountered that T-cells, aimed at recognizing and attacking cancer cells, eventually destroyed each other in the production process. As a result, the scientists made several additional DNA changes in base-edited cells so that they were able to target cancer cells and no longer kill each other.
According to GOSH Consultant Immunologist Wasim Qasim, this experimental treatment is the most the most sophisticated cell engineering in existence, which paves the way for other new treatments.