Another breakthrough in science has been made, with British doctors claiming that they've cured babies who were diagnosed with an aggressive and supposedly incurable type of leukemia. The doctors said that they've relieved cancer through the use of "designer cells."
In a report by Gizmodo, the babies have been treated with genetically-engineered immune cells from a donor. The Science Translational Medicine have featured whole details of the two cases.
In the cases, the scientists were able to engineer a type of immune cell called T-cell that is able to attack cancer cells. The two babies were aged 11 and 16 months and both of them have undergone lots of previous failed treatments.
Scientists have announced that one of the infants, Layla Richards, has greatly improved after being diagnosed with cancer at only three months old. A few months after the treatment, she has already shown improvement but the scientists were still hesitant to confirm the news.
Now, however, they are positive that Layla is already in remission and that they have cured the second baby as well. The treatment involved having to collect blood from donors and isolating healthy immune T-cells.
After this, a genetic engineering tool called TALENs is used to deactivate the certain T-cell genes that normally cause them to be rejected once a transplant into a leukemia patient occurs.
Similar treatments using engineered T-cells have been highly successful in curing blood cancers but those cases only relied on the patient's own blood cells to be altered. Using a donated cell offers a potential for a cheaper, faster cure against cancer.
Some researchers, however, have expressed their doubt over the therapy since the infants also received standard chemotherapy and it was impossible to differentiate the effects of the two procedures. The results of the genetically-engineered immune cells, meanwhile, have led to a scientific breakthrough.
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