Gene-Editing Therapy Saved the Lives of Two Baby Girls Suffering From Cancer

By: | February 12th, 2017

Image courtesy Great Ormond Street Hospital

Globally, diseases are increasing, but so are advancements in the medical sciences. Recently, two babies were rescued from a previously incurable type of leukemia after receiving gene-editing therapy.

In both the cases, researchers genetically engineered white blood cells so they could effectively target cancerous cells.

One of the babies, Layla Richards, was just 11-months-old when she got the treatment. She was the first person to get this treatment, with the procedure occurring in June 2015. Now eighteen months after the treatment, Layla is doing well with no sign of the leukemia returning. The second baby, who was 16 months old when she received this treatment in December 2016, is also healthy.

Waseem Qasim, a consultant immunologist at a London hospital who led the team that treated the girls, said, “While both patients are now at home and are doing well, we must treat these results with some caution as we don’t yet know if the technique will be successful in treating a larger number of patients.”

So far, this trial is extremely successful, however, a lot more work is required to confirm that this technique works on others, including older children and adults.

Image courtesy Great Ormond Street Hospital

Image courtesy Great Ormond Street Hospital

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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