Two Infants With Leukemia Saved With Gene-Editing Treatment

Remission was achieved in just 4 weeks.

Doctors at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital have reportedly successfully "cured" leukemia in two baby girls by using genetically modified immune cells to combat the cancer.

The physicians, who published an article in Science Translational Medicine documenting the two cases, reported that "molecular remissions were achieved within 28 days in both infants." 

Genetically modified T-cells from a healthy female donor were administered intravenously to the girls. Although the girls' immune systems could have recognized these donated T-cells as alien and rejected them, both girls responded exceptionally well to the treatment, though one did initially suffer an immune system response that required steroid treatment. 

The girls were 11 and 16 months at the time of treatment and have remained cancer-free 18 and 12 months afterwards, respectively. 

This type of treatment could prove to be an important tool in the ongoing search for a cure for cancer. 

The National Cancer Institute reports that leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children under 15.

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Cover image via Lolostock / Shutterstock.

(H/T: IFL Science)

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