December 17, 2012
Girl Cancer-Free After Treatment With Disabled HIV
A young girl with acute lymphoblastic leukemia is in complete remission after undergoing an experimental treatment using a disabled form of HIV to reprogram her immune system to kill her cancer cells, The New York Times reports. Emma Whitehead is the first child and one of the first humans to have succeeded in using the immune system over the long term to fight cancer. She is among a dozen patients to receive the treatment, which was developed at the University of Pennsylvania. The technique uses a disabled form of HIV because the virus is highly effective at carrying genetic material into T cells, which are reprogrammed to attack cancer cells.
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