Leukemia - The breakthrough in cancer treatment


Leukemia - The breakthrough in cancer treatment

Until now, every time someone with "white blood" disease, patients are desperate. But now, is there a method to heal leukemia and other cancers, such as T-cell transplantation in an important medical breakthrough called "training the immune system to destroy cancer cells. "

1 year ago, when chemotherapy phase suspended in a long struggle against his leukemia, William Ludwig signed up to be the first patient treated in a bold experiment phase at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Ludwig, then 65 years old, live in Bridgeton, New Jersey. Earlier Ludwig felt his life was slowly slipping out of hand and had kindled a little extreme thought he had nothing to lose because evil disease. The doctor took out billions of T cells from Ludwig - a type of white blood cells against viruses and tumors then gave them new genes to build a program the cells to attack cancer leukemia. Then the cells convert drip pumped into the patient's vein. At first, no matter what happens. But 10 days later Ludwig started shaking, feeling chill pervades the body. His body temperature soared. Decreasing blood pressure. The patient became very ill and the doctors are forced to Ludwig rushed into the room special treatment, doctors also warn that patients can die at any time. Yet, a few weeks later, the patient's fever gradually Ludwig disappeared. Especially, do not find white blood cells present in any corner of the body - no white blood cells in blood or bone marrow of the patient, nor any trace of swelling through CT .

Dr. Carl June check the shape of the cells in the laboratory in Philadelphia.

A year later, it looks like Ludwig's leukemia had complete remission. Prior to that, there are many days he could not lift himself out of bed;, but now he was able to golf quite comfortable. Ludwig said happily: "Life is beautiful return to me." The doctor had not convinced by Ludwig leukemia can be cured - it is too early to say it - they did not claim victory leukemia on the basis of this experiment when only 3 patients were offered treatment. The doctor said, so far the treatment is still experimental nature, has not been applied on a large scale. But the scientists say that the special treatments helped cure for Ludwig, the recent report published in the Journal of Medicine and Science translational medicine New England, may signify a turning point important in the development of effective gene therapy against cancer. And not only apply to patients with leukemia, other cancers also have access to treatment, notably patients with HIV-1 virus that causes AIDS. In terms of the nature, the research team is using gene therapy to accomplish something that researchers are hoping to do in the next decade: a training own immune system in humans have the ability to kill cancer cells. Two other patients underwent this test case. One of these patients had disease halves but not complete remission. Another patient had complete remission. All three patients were suffering from chronic leukemia, and they have tried most of the healing phase with chemotherapy before that but failed. Normally, the only hope of healing diseases such as by bone marrow transplant, but these patients are not suitable for treatment.

Other experts in the field say that the results are a major step forward. "It is a glorious breakthrough", the words of TS. Walter J. Urba from Providence Cancer Center and Research Institute Earle A. Chiles in Portland, Oregon (USA). TS. Walter J. Urba called the recovery of the three patients over a period of remarkable and important. TS alone. Carl June called the techniques "a harvest of information from molecular biology revolution over the past two decades."

      (NY Times)