Science Gives Doctors Way to Cure Incurable Cancer

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A new advance in medicine, a field that appears never to be static, is allowing doctors to cure a girl’s incurable cancer.

The girl, identified in a report by the BBC as Alyssa, suffered from leukemia.

So physicians at the United Kingdom’s Great Ormond Street Hospital turned to “base editing” to save her.

They used biological engineering to build her a new living drug, and six months later, her cancer is undetectable, the report said.

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It was a diagnosis of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia last year that threatened the 13-year-old from Leicester.

The report explained T-cells seek out and destroy threats to the body, but Alyssa was surging out of control, threatening her very life after chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant failed.

Then the medical team at the hospital turned to base editing, a procedure invented only a few years ago.

The BBC explained: “Bases are the language of life. The four types of base – adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T) – are the building blocks of our genetic code. Just as letters in the alphabet spell out words that carry meaning, the billions of bases in our DNA spell out the instruction manual for our body. Base editing allows scientists to zoom into a precise part of the genetic code and then alter the molecular structure of just one base, converting it into another and changing the genetic instructions. The large 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.”

Eventually, her immune system, including T-cells, will be restored with another bone-marrow transplant, the report explained.

Kiana, Alyssa’s mother, thought when told of the plan, “You can do that?”

Professor Waseem Qasim, a physician, explained she was the first patent to be treated with the new tech.

The process is now a “very fast-moving area of science,” the report said.

Now Alyssa is “eyeing-up Christmas, being a bridesmaid at her auntie’s wedding, getting back on her bike, going back to school and ‘just doing normal people stuff,'” the BBC explained.

Her father, James, said, “I find it quite hard to talk about how proud we are. When you see what she’s gone through and the vitality of life she’s brought to every situation, it’s outstanding.”

 

 

 

 

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