Washington: Two kids, who were suffering from an aggressive form of childhood leukemia, had a complete remission after they were treated with a novel cell therapy that reprogrammed their immune cells to rapidly multiply and destroy malignant cells.7-year-old Emily Whitehead, was featured in news stories in December 2012 after the experimental therapy led to her dramatic recovery after she relapsed following conventional treatment.11 months after receiving bioengineered T cells that zeroed in on a target found in this type of leukemia, called acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Emily is now healthy and cancer-free.The other patient, a 10-year-old girl, who also had a complete response to the same treatment, suffered a relapse two months later when other leukemia cells appeared that did not harbour the specific cell receptor targeted by the therapy."This study describes how these cells have a potent anticancer effect in children," said co-first author Stephan A. Grupp, M.D., Ph.D., of The Children`s Hospital of Philadelphia, where both patients were treated in this clinical trial.The current study builds on Grupp`s ongoing collaboration with Penn Medicine scientists who originally developed the modified T cells as a treatment for B-cell leukemias.
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