Two Kids Have Been Cured Of Leukaemia By Genetic Engineering

by : Francesca Donovan on : 16 Jan 2017 16:59

Two children have reportedly been cured of cancer using a ground-breaking new treatment involving genetic engineering.

Two babies have just been rescued from previously incurable forms of leukemia. Thanks to gene-editing therapy, their lives will no longer be cut short.


Writing in the journal Science Translational Medicine, a European team of researchers report that the two young girls have remained cancer-free a year after being given the treatment.


Gene-editing genetically engineered white blood cells which gave the babies the ability to effectively target cancerous cells in their own bodies.

The team’s paper notes that ‘molecular remissions were achieved within 28 days in both infants’.


In one month – an incredibly short space of time – the girls have shown no signs of the acute lymphocytic leukemia they were once riddled with.


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This gene-editing technique has been used before by various drug companies, but previously the engineered white blood cells had been extracted from patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

This case is particularly noteworthy because the killer cells were taken from healthy donors and then engineered to attack the cancer cells in the young patients.


The treatment was orchestrated by Cellectis, a French Biotech firm, and carried out at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.

It is hoped that this form of gene-editing therapy could be a truly universal treatment.

This marks yet another win for science in the perpetual battle against cancer, which remains humanity’s biggest killer, and could affect every one of us; man, woman or child.

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Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.

Topics: Health


Science Translational Medicine
  1. Science Translational Medicine

    Molecular remission of infant B-ALL after infusion of universal TALEN gene-edited CAR T cells