World’s First Gene Therapy That Cured Leukemia

The new treatment has led to complete elimination of cancer from the body of a young girl. Alyssa is a 13-year-old who was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of blood cancer that originates in white blood cells of a bone marrow. 

Base Editing

Alyssa was diagnosed with the condition back in May 2021, before which she and her family were in the midst of chaos to determine the possible treatment. Alyssa went through different basic treatments like bone marrow transplant, but the doctors weren’t able to control her cancer. The team of experts, led by Waseem Qasim, had to create specialized T-cells and make changes in the DNA codes of donor T-cells via a process known as ‘base editing’.

Alyssa Was The First Person To Receive Such Treatment

Cell Engineering At Best

The receptors are removed from the donor T-cells, already available from healthy volunteer donors, to be banked, making the T-cells universal. The whole engineering process enables the T-cells to be properly armed against potential adversaries and avoid killing their own T-cells. 

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