Two infants with leukaemia are now in remission, thanks to a world-first treatment that uses genetically engineered T-cells from healthy donors.
The UK patients were first given the treatment back in 2015, after chemotherapy failed to show results. Now, after two years, both remain cancer-free.
If similar success is seen in future trials, the treatment could offer a cheap and universal way to fight cancers, without needing to tailor T-cells specifically for different patients.
“This application of an emerging technology has provided a demonstration of the potential of gene-editing strategies for engineered cell therapies, albeit with a clinical experience limited to two infants,” the team from London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital writes.
The infants, who were 11 months and 16 months when they started the new treatment, had previously undergone chemotherapy to treat leukaemia. Both treatments failed to show any results, and their parents were told they should prepare for the worst.
With no other options, doctors at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital tried a new procedure: injecting the infants with genetically engineered T-cells – known as chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR-T cells – taken from healthy donors…read the full story on ScienceAlert.
[hr] The team’s work has been published in Science Translational Medicine. Read our previous coverage of the GOSH team’s work here: World first use of gene-edited immune cells to treat ‘incurable’ leukaemia