Health: Designer Cells Reverse Baby’s Incurable Disease

In London, Layla Richards was diagnosed with leukemia when she was only three months old. After a bone marrow transplant and chemotherapy proved unsuccessful, Layla’s parents were advised to “go home and make memories.” Reluctant to give up, Layla’s parents were willing to try a highly experimental treatment that had only been tried in mice. Doctors modified the DNA inside a healthy donor’s immune cells using microscopic scissors called Talens to create designer immune cells that battled only leukemia cells and were invisible to the strong drugs given to the patient. The results were astonishing: after the injection of these designer cells and a second bone marrow transplant to restore her immune system, Layla had no trace of leukemia in her body. Though Layla can’t be considered cured yet, Dr. Paul Veys, one of Great Ormond Street doctors, says the technological advance is very significant: “The only way we will find out if this is a cure is by waiting that one or two years, but even having got this far from where we were is a major, major step.”

Contributor: Cristina Herrera

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Comment (1)

  1. Helloitsnia     November 14, 2015 at 10:46pm

    Wow!AMAZING! It’s so great to see out health advances and a cure of any type of cancer or leukemia is a huge deal! Hopefully everything works out for the girl in the next few years! Great article!

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