seven-year-old girl has become the first child leukaemia patient to be successfully treated by doctors using a disabled form of the virus that causes Aids to reprogramme the immune system.
When chemotherapy failed to work for Emily Whitehead, diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, she underwent a new experimental treatment at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
It involved tricking her immune system into fighting the cancer cells.
Dr Stephan Grupp, Director of the Centre for Childhood Cancer Research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told CBS: “We’ve treated the first couple of patients and we’ve been blown away by the results”.
They’ve been very exciting.
“We collect cells of the immune system from a patient, so we use the patient’s own cells. We put in a new gene in those cells that makes the cells go after cancer cells and then we put those cells back in the patient.”
Holy crap, read this.