A ground-breaking new gene therapy, using a technique known as base editing, has given hope to those suffering from untreatable cancers. Scientists in the UK have successfully administered this revolutionary treatment to a young patient with relapsed T-cell leukaemia, achieving a world first. The therapy has already been successful in Alyssa, who had undergone chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant without success. Following the infusion of donated, base-edited T-cells, Alyssa has been in remission for over six months.
The team at Great Ormond Street hospital in London, who treated Alyssa, are now preparing to recruit ten more T-cell leukaemia patients for further trials. If these are successful, it is hoped that base-edited cells could be used to treat other types of leukaemia and serious diseases.