Now this is very impressive.
Last summer, Emma, then six was near death from chemo-resistant leukaemia but is now in remission thanks to an experimental cancer treatment method developed by the University of Pennsylvania.
Doctors remove millions of Emma’s T-cells, and inserted new genes that enabled them to combat cancer cells. The kicker is that it involved using disabled HIV virions to deliver the genetic material. HIV particles are excellent genetic vectors and already have specificity towards T-cells. The new genes program the T-cells to attack B-cells.
The treatment very nearly killed her but she has emerged cancer free and still in complete remission.
This is very exciting stuff but make no mistake this is no end-all-be-all. Emma might have done extremely well with her treatment but the experiment has had its share of mixed results. Despite this, the researchers involved and the experts of the field think this approach has tremendous promise.