Two kids cured of leukemia by genetic engineering

We’ve been hearing for all of our lives about the battle for a cure for cancer. It’s the holiest of holy grails in the medical community, one that countless professionals have dedicated their entire lives to finding — because it’s personal. Cancer has touched everybody’s life at one point or another. We all know someone who has battled it, maybe even several people. So whenever we see news of a cancer cure, we have to sit up and take notice.

This latest case is as promising as they come, however. And the fact that two babies were cured? Nothing short of heartwarming.

In what was until recently only a dream, two babies have been cured of their leukemia without chemo. Doctors instead used genetic engineering to cure the kids.

According to their paper in Science Translational Medicine, the doctors at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital treated the kids with genetically engineered immune cells provided by a donor, with startling results.

Within 28 days, the girls showed no signs of the acute lymphocytic leukemia that had threatened to cut their young lives short.

And a year after receiving the treatment, they remained cancer-free. Although treatments like this had been tried before, the cancer-killing cells had been taken from patients being treated for cancer. These were taken from healthy donors.

Not only is this a breakthrough for cancer cures, but the method the doctors used shows incredible promise as an inexpensive cure, too.

Their “off-the-shelf” approach, which used “one-size-fits-all” engineered cells, costs about $4,000 per dose, which only sounds expensive until you compare it with other methods that can cost up to $50,000 per dose.

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So however you measure it, this treatment was a huge victory in the fight against cancer.
Here’s hoping the research continues and this promising approach translates into a real, lasting cure.