A lot of folks have been forwarding me this story from the New York Times–

 In Girl’s Last Hope, Altered Immune Cells Beat Leukemia

It is a FANTASTIC story about a little girl who had been sick from leukemia for two years, wasnt responding to conventional therapies, and her parents chose to try alternative medicine.  Not magic lotions and potions from soulless snake-oil salesmen– A GMO virus, made in part with HIV-1.

What, exactly, her physicians used, I do not know– This is a MSM piece, not a peer-reviewed paper, but Im guessing they used something like what I wrote about last year:

Oh, Im not a doctor.

What do you get when you cross HIV-1 with VSV with mouse antibodies with human CD3 and CD137 with a cancer patients T-cells?

Gene therapy. Her body couldnt figure out how to fight the cancer. Take her T-cells, have HIV-1 deliver a cheat-sheet*, now T-cells know how to kill the cancer.  Technically, the T-cells know how to kill the girls B-cells (even the healthy ones), but there are ways to deal with her lack of B-cells, now that the cancer isnt killing her.

While this is an amazing story, this approach did not help everyone in her study.  According to the NYT piece, about half of the patients did not respond.  But I think cancer is in the same category as HIV-1– We dont need to successfully treat everyone in the first trials. We need to successfully treat some patients.  Once we have something that kinda-sorta-sometimes works, we have a starting point for turning the therapy into something that totally-always-completely works.

And like I keep saying, get used to this, folks.  Viruses are going to be saving our butts more and more and more in the future.  I am *super* pumped mainstream media is finally picking up on this amazing fact, and hope there is a lot less of this make-believe nonsense.

 

 

 

* I realized I havent ever talked about how we actually do this.  Look for a post on it later this week!

Comments

  1. #1 Patrick Ethen
    United States
    December 12, 2012

    This is great news – the sooner we can get our immune system figured out, the sooner we can teach it to behave.
    On a side note – every time I post your blogs in fb, it has the pic of your dog. It’s a great looking dog, so don’t get me wrong, but hehe, I think think you should have YOUR face there. :p

  2. #2 Michael Kelsey
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
    December 12, 2012

    This is indeed great news — and great that the NYT reported on the viral therapy without dragging in anti-GMO woo-spewers.

    @Ethen: Just like your mask, the dog’s picture is far less likely to induce nasty, infantile stalking comments back to Ms. Smith. If you don’t believe that happens, perhaps you want to go read a few of Greg Laden’s blogs on the subject.

  3. #3 Christmas Tree Toppers
    United States
    December 13, 2012

    This is a great story. It feels like it is a breakthrough and we are finally we are close to the solution. It’s actually not the first case using reprogramming technique. The only problem that immune response is very strong and patient should go through critical condition and that’s why this method could not be applied to everyone.

  4. #4 Smurfette
    April 6, 2013

    Oh wow, I have not visited your blog nor followed this story for a long time… she is a relative of my college best friend and it’s great to see her looking so healthy now.

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