In a study here in the United States there has been a breakthrough therapy that may help to wipe out leukemia. This therapy will modify leukemia patient’s T-cells into a potent tumor killing agent. This study has been done on three patients and they have been cancer free for one year. This is not a cure for leukemia but will help to put it into remission. They do not know yet just how long this treatment will keep leukemia at bay.
This new therapy is called a gene transfer where specialized T-cells, which are the ones who protect the body from infection, are created so that they will attack cancerous tumors. The cases they have tried this on have been ones with advanced cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Patients with this type of leukemia had little hope of survival without having a stem cell or bone marrow transplant but these do not always work and usually carry a high chance of dying. This type of treatment usually gave the patient a fifty-fifty chance of surviving and a twenty percent chance on dying.
There are still further studies that are needed but this advance is giving hope to others who suffer from similar types of cancer such as lung cancer, ovarian cancer, melanoma and myeloma. One patient said that by the twenty eighth day of treatment his blood did not show any signs of leukemia which before the therapy was full of tumor cells.