Hope for leukemia patients.. Alyssa was cured with a new British treatment

British doctors have defended the effectiveness of a treatment for a deadly type of leukemia, the most common type of cancer in children, after the first patient who underwent it recovered.

Alyssa, 13, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia from T-cells in 2021. This disease did not interact with the conventional treatments she received, including chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

The teenager participated in a clinical trial conducted at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, for a new treatment that uses genetically modified immune cells from a healthy volunteer.

hospital "Great Ormond Street" for children in London

Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, London

Within 28 days, she was stable enough to undergo a second bone marrow transplant to reset her immune system, the researchers explained at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology over the weekend.

After 6 months, Alyssa’s condition became good and she returned to her home in Leicester, central England, with medical follow-up.

And the hospital indicated in a statement, Sunday, that “the only option that Alyssa would have had had it not been for her experimental treatment, was palliative care.”

Lymphocytic leukemia affects the cells of the immune system and T and B lymphocytes that resist viruses and protect the body from them.

The hospital stated that Alyssa is the first patient whose name is announced to receive the modified T cells. The treatment involves chemical conversion of the letters of the DNA code.

Researchers at the hospital and others from University College London helped develop the use of modified T cells to treat B-cell leukemia in 2015.

However, the T cells designed to fight cancer cells ended up killing each other in the process of being produced, prompting scientists to consider alternative solutions.

And the expert in immune-related diseases, Wassim Qassem, considered that what was recorded represents “amazing proof of the way in which we can link with specialized teams and infrastructure, between advanced technologies in the laboratory and tangible results in the hospital.”

He added that this “paves the way for other new treatments, and ultimately a better future for sick children.”

And Alyssa confirmed in a statement that she underwent the experimental treatment for her sake and for the sake of all sick children.

“I hope this proves to be a successful treatment and that it becomes available to more children,” said her mother, Keona.

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