February 24, 2014
Cell Therapy Causes Complete Remissions Of Leukemia

Is Leukemia going to be the next cancer to become very curable? Gene therapy to modify immune cells makes them attack leukemia very effectively. 88% success rate against leukemia.

NEW YORK, February 19, 2014 Investigators from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have reported more encouraging news about one of the most exciting methods of cancer treatment today. The largest clinical study ever conducted to date of patients with advanced leukemia found that 88 percent achieved complete remissions after being treated with genetically modified versions of their own immune cells. The results were published today in Science Translational Medicine.

"These extraordinary results demonstrate that cell therapy is a powerful treatment for patients who have exhausted all conventional therapies," said Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Cell Engineering at Memorial Sloan Kettering and one of the study's senior authors. "Our initial findings have held up in a larger cohort of patients, and we are already looking at new clinical studies to advance this novel therapeutic approach in fighting cancer."

Can we have this story repeated for about a couple dozen other cancers?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2014 February 24 10:08 PM 

fb0253 said at February 25, 2014 5:52 PM:


Black Death said at February 26, 2014 12:21 PM:

The results are impressive with a very bad disease (relapsed adult B-cell ALL). The novel therapy involves engineering T-lymphocytes to recognize the CD19 antigen, which is displayed on B-lymphocytes from their earliest differentiation. This treatment may be useful against other hematologic malignancies (leukemia, lymphoma, maybe multiple myeloma, although the plasma cells in that disorder do not express CD19). Solid tumors such as carcinomas will be more difficult because their surface antigens are not as well defined.

Randall Parker said at February 27, 2014 7:29 PM:

Black Death,

Does this wipe out all B-lymphocytes? Will this then also wipe out normal B-lymphocytes?

I wonder if the cancer is ever in stem cells that differentiate into B-lymphocytes. That'd make the treatment aimed at CD19 not a cure.

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