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Why young leukemia patient is now in full remission after an experimental new treatment that some say may change the way.
That we treat cancer doctors using a disabled form and HIV.
Altered six year old and then as and the white heads immune cells.
Her parents agreed to the procedure and a last ditch effort to save her life and now six months later apparently she's doing OK doctor Leigh -- about -- is with us now.
-- -- -- this step by stat doctor why a disabled form at HIV.
Well it's interesting it's a form of immune therapy an HIV is the virus did invade T cell.
And very frequently we use viruses as -- -- To -- to get into the cells and by using the T -- the T tell then get targeted an engineered.
To kill her -- cells which are the cells that have gone haywire and caused the leukemia.
So -- so.
I could are like watch stocks that you had your body right and -- in sugar comes and and in this case it's cancer the T cells can attack the cancer and make you well.
Right but they naturally wouldn't be doing that I mean and -- you had an autoimmune problem where your own cells attack your body but by.
Engineering that -- using.
Putting the genes in with the HIV virus which normally invades T cells anyway that's how HIV kill people.
It it kills your T -- So by normally doing that and then programming it through genes to kill that these cells.
It it -- its killer is picking up a protein on the beast out but it's on the healthy these cells and the cancer is -- Philadelphia so that's the one drawback.
When you medically modify a virus like they like HIV virus do you have any risk of getting that -- somewhere down wind.
No it's pretty much got it doubted it loses and that it ability normally it would invaded T cell and then it would start multiplying very fast and then break out and invade more T selvin killing your -- -- But it's modified so that it cannot.
Replicate it just gets into the T -- and then puts the genes -- the DNA there.
That then recognizes the beast -- foreign and then kills would be south.
What's that so much and have a significant part of this story is that this little girl has survives.
And also -- adults have gone to this treatment have also survived but once you do the treatment doc do you have to continue to do it for the next several years do you need more T cells that are.
That are trains or genetically modified to make sure you keep the bad -- away.
Well that's a good question -- what's interesting about this and we're talking about four people so it's still very early she's the first girl there were three other adult.
It's works like a vaccine you know.
It kills the cancer cells and then those T cells die down as there is less than last cancer cells and no cancer cells because she went miraculously into remission so far.
And then you have these memory cells which just sort of cruise around the body.
And wait for another invasion that's -- -- vaccine works and then if you get exposed to that germ or whatever the memory cells ramp up again.
And then you make more of those T cells that theoretically it could be like a lifelong and.
-- and it's really amazing and we should mention to our viewers that during the treatment though it is.
It there are moments where you get very very sick one doctor called -- the shaken -- when you get this step out of your system in this little girl almost died.
During this treatment on this of course now she's doing well -- and happy fourth -- It -- some suggest that that this could actually replace bone marrow transplants how big of a deal do you think this really is towards getting closer.
To the cure for cancer.
Well I think that it is a pretty big deal and it's modulate the immune system -- the targeted personal therapy.
So not one.
You it's genetically engineered just for your being -- And they have to be done individually.
But it's less money that a bone marrow transplant but it's still more expensive than regular chemotherapy but it's a definitely a first step and they're gonna eventually look at it.
Toward solid tumors -- Prostate so I think it it's pretty promising and very exciting.
That you're able to make these natural killers in your own body to attack your candidate.
-- dominating -- seven years old her favorite subjects in school recess.
So we -- -- a little -- well we can certainly understand that can't wait.
And I'm glad to talk a little bit about something that may be moving us in a positive direction when it comes to this this fight against cancer doctor always great to see you thank you so much.
Thanks for having --
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