Doctors engineer new therapy which alters human DNA to cure blood cancer.
We all fear blood cancer, and the pertaining treatment for it is extremely tedious and expensive. So far there has been no permanent cure for this disease, but doctors in Britain have now engineered a therapy that can help to completely cure blood cancer.
In a first-ever, doctors in Britain developed a new cell therapy that can cure blood cancer. Doctors are treating a 13-year-old girl suffering from T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia with this method. Last May, doctors treated Elisa with this therapy for the first time. Elisa's immune system was unable to fight her cancer which is why she was injected with donor cells, as per the reports of BBC.
A new therapy that was adopted by the doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital called "base editing" to treat the 13-year-old. Through base editing, three alterations were introduced in the DNA to make it capable of fighting cancer. After six months, cancer in Alyssa's blood is undetectable. Although she has come back home, she is being monitored for precautionary purposes.
What is base editing?
Bases are the language of life. The genetic code is built with four types of bases - adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). Through base editing, scientists zoom into a precise part of the genetic code and then alter the molecular structure of one base converting it into another and changing the genetic instructions.
The team of doctors and scientists used this tool to engineer a new type of T-cell that was capable of hunting down and killing Alyssa's cancerous T-cells. If this therapy works, Alyssa's immune system - including T-cells - will be rebuilt with the second bone-marrow transplant.