Science Saturday – HIV Killing Cancer

Emma LeukemiaA radical new approach to fighting cancer, which might open the doors to treating other aggressive diseases involves doing something that would probably go against the grain and is completely counterintuitive to most people reading this.

Drs. Carl June and David Porter from the University of Pennsylvania, and their colleagues, have embarked on a new form of treatment for cancer patients which involves injecting them with a modified form of the HIV virus which zero’s in and kills cancer cells.

The trials have been carried out on patients who are classified as terminally ill and whom have no other avenues of treatment open to them. This is their ONLY hope.

The video shows a patient, a young girl called Emma, who has suffered from leukemia for many years. She’s had to endure it coming back TWICE. Her parents were effectively looking for a miracle.

The T-cells are collected and infected with the modified HIV virus. This genetically changes the T-cells which are now reengineered to scout in the patients, look out for and ultimately kill the cancer cells within a patients body. The modified HIV virus has been changed so that it can no longer cause disease, but it still retains the ability to reprogram the immune system. The result being that it attacks the cancer cells.

This treatment is cutting edge and it has not yet been developed to work on everyone.

Emma has gone on from strength to strength, beating leukemia, hopefully for good this time.

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