Genetically engineered T-cell therapy is showing startling effectiveness against leukemia, judging from both scientific and parental accounts: Of the first seven children, five had a complete response – no evidence of cancer – although one of them later relapsed. One child did not respond, and one child’s outcome has not been made public by parents or doctors.
The therapy involves transferring genes into T cells – the soldiers of the immune system – to make them recognize and attack B cells, the blood component that turns malignant in certain leukemias and lymphomas. There is also evidence that some of the designer T cells develop immune “memory,” so they could reactivate and strike if cancer returns.
Today, with potent chemotherapies and radiation, about 80 percent of the 3,000 children diagnosed annually in the United States are cured. But the treatments are harsh, and when they fail, the options are increasingly grim.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.