Young infants with leukemia treated with a new immunotherapy

Young infants with leukemia treated with a new immunotherapy

Two young young children with leukemia have been successfully treated with a new immunotherapy. Scientists knew immune cells of a donor in a laboratory to modify, so that they are in the patient’s cancer cells could fight.

The two children are 18 and 12 months after treatment, still free of the disease, write the researchers in the scientific journal Science Translational Medicine.

The new method developed by the French Cellectis in the British hospital Great Ormond Street Hospital. Scientists speak of a breakthrough in the immunotherapy, although it is not yet clear whether the treatment in the long-term also works.

In the treatment are so-called T-cells from a healthy donor administered. These cells are modified in such a way that they are cancer cells to recognize and attack them, after which they with the patient are inserted.


According to professor of hematology Henk Lokhorst (VUmc) are there thanks to the immunotherapy the past few years, promising results have been achieved, ” he tells the Volkskrant. However, there are still stumbling blocks, such that for every cancer patient their own medication should be made.

Therefore, researchers are looking for ways to ready-made T-cells available to obtain a to wish can be transformed. “A kind of biobank that allows you to get started quickly,” says Lokhorst.

Existing treatments often make use of healthy cells of the patient are decreased. People with low healthy T-cells, such as sick young children, there can be no use of them.

The new technique makes it possible for even those people to help. Moreover, it would be cheaper and the cells may also be used for other treatments can be used.

There is a first phase of clinical research with both children and adults.

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