Can designer cells help with leukemia? A French biotech firm is looking at a new treatment to help those who have leukemia. News reports are noting that the designer cells were used on a second baby with an aggressive form of leukemia. After a six month checkup the baby is still showing signs that the leukemia is in remission.
According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), in 2011, the most recent year for statistics, the most common cancer diagnosis in children aged 0-19 were leukemias. Per 100,000 children in the United States (“US) the highest incidence rate is among children aged 1-4, at 8.8. In the same population (per 100,000) the highest death rate of children with lukemais is .8 for children aged 1-4.
The company which developed the designer cells made the news a few months ago when their use of the treatment was performed on another baby suffering from leukemia in a Britain hospital. In Washington, the results of the recent patient was shared with other medical and research professionals at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy.
News reports say that the UCART19 injection helps by adding new genes to the healthy donated T-cells. T-cells are important because they help fight against leukemia.
Researchers note that more time is needed in this area to determine whether the designer cells have actually cured the disease, or has merely slowed its progression. Regardless, these results are good news so far to these two babies.
Leukemia is a type of cancer which attacks the blood forming tissues in the body. This includes the lymphatic system and blood marrow. The disease can occur in children and in adults. Generally, symptoms can consist of fever, chills, fatigue and weakness, infections, and loss of body weight without exercise.
Even though this treatment may need more time to research, it may be a step in the right direction in the fight against leukemia. To read more about the research and the article in support of this post click HERE.