Another step towards containing cancer...

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Another step towards containing cancer...

Post by Kaere on Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:40 pm

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/leukemia-baby-designer-cells-1.3307170

Woot!!

A baby whom doctors thought almost certain to die has been cleared of a previously incurable leukemia in the first human use of an "off-the-shelf" cell therapy that creates designer immune cells.

One-year-old Layla had run out of all other treatment options when doctors at Britain's Great Ormond Street Hospital gave her the highly experimental, genetically edited cells in a tiny 1-milliliter intravenous infusion.

Two months later, she was cancer-free and she is now home from hospital. The gene-edited cell treatment was prepared by scientists at the hospital and University College London together with the French biotech firm Cellectis, which is now funding full clinical trials of the therapy due to start next year.

It is designed to work by adding new genes to healthy donated immune cells known as T-cells, which arm them against leukemia. Layla's mother told media that the only options the family would not accept was inaction.

"We didn't see it as a tough decision, we saw it as the only decision. There was no other option, we didn't agree with going home to do nothing. We didn't want to know what ifs, we wanted to know we've tried everything for her," Lisa Foley said.

Using a gene-editing technology called TALEN, which acts as "molecular scissors," specific genes are then cut to make the T-cells behave in two specific ways: Firstly, they are rendered invisible to a powerful leukemia drug that would usually kill them and secondly they are reprogrammed to only target and fight against leukemia cells.

Other drugmakers including Novartis, Juno Therapeutics and Kite Pharma have tested genetically modified T-cells extracted from an individual patient. However, this is the first time cells from a healthy donor have been used in a process that could lead to a ready off-the-shelf supply for use in multiple patients.

Some scientists have questioned Cellectis' approach because of potential problems with patients rejecting foreign cells.

But the French biotech, working with the U.S. giant Pfizer, as well as Novartis believes its method is faster and cheaper than creating single patient-specific gene therapies.

Results from Layla's case were due to be presented at the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting in Orlando on Wednesday.

"It does mean we have a new weapon and it does mean therefore that children like Layla who really are up against it now have something that we can do, we've learnt has a significant chance of working," said Paul Veys, a professor and director of bone marrow transplant at the hospital who led the team treating Layla.

Doctors are watching if the success in Layla's case is sustained.

"It's very exciting but it is early days," Matt Kaiser, head of research at U.K. charity Bloodwise that funds research on blood cancers, and who wasn't involved in Layla's treatment, cautioned in the Wall Street Journal.

Long-term clinical studies on more patients are also needed to validate the approach and to understand who responds to the treatment and who doesn't, Kaiser added.
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Re: Another step towards containing cancer...

Post by Solace on Fri Nov 06, 2015 2:52 pm

Aww that's awesome news! Smile
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Re: Another step towards containing cancer...

Post by Agartha on Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:06 pm

Wow! Amazing!!!..... I am so proud of how far we have come regarding medical advances... incredible!!! So happy for that little girl and her family!! ♥
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Re: Another step towards containing cancer...

Post by Kaere on Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:10 pm

I know, right? Warm fuzzies all around Very Happy
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Re: Another step towards containing cancer...

Post by Rockhopper on Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:41 pm

Very much so Ka! Gene cell therapy is very promising in the fight against cancer.

The problem is that cancer cells give off signals that they are normal healthy cells and therefore are ignored by the T-cells whose job it is to destroy all alien life within the body.

Another branch of medicine is looking at ways of flagging cancer cells to tell the immune system to attack and destroy them.

Tim.
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Re: Another step towards containing cancer...

Post by Stargate on Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:19 pm

Hip-Hip Ho-ray for science, surprise can come from anywhere.

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Re: Another step towards containing cancer...

Post by Lenzabi on Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:16 pm

I suspect that there may have been a time when human bodies had the ability to regenerate aging and dying parts, and maybe lost parts, but sometime in the loong forgotten past, that was turned off. But instead of being simply shut down, it became cancer.

Why would regeneration be turned off you ask? I suspect immortality was a issue, over population as people were youthful for very long times, and that also, immortality, with little to nothing to do can lead to madness.

Now humans have comparatively short spans of 60-80yrs on average, and breed like rabbits! we still manage to overpopulate along with resources mis-managed.

Cancer under check and control will of course result in happy families as they cease the loss of loved ones. Especially as cancer in kids is the saddest of the cancers.

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Re: Another step towards containing cancer...

Post by Stargate on Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:33 pm

I absolutely agree with your first statement, I have long asked myself the same question many times over.


I have notice that when a tree, or let me say a plant encounters drought, op picks up a disease, it puts out a lot more fruits, the fruits are tiny compared with their usual size. I am thinking if nature decides that shortening the life span is a better option it will take that route.


Some of these diseases are man made, I strongly believe cancer is one of them.


When I was in Germany a doctor took one of his patient who had developed cancer to an Island in the Bahamas. He did nothing but cut the life style of the patient totally off and got remarkable results. The cancer cells diminished to a level where he stated that life style change can solve a lot of cancer problems, I never heard anything more about that.

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