Using a genetically modified HIV-1 to genetically modify leukemia patients T-cells to teach them how to kill the cancer?
Thats childs play, at this point.
Lets give those GMO viruses a real challenge.
Lets get them to fight a real bastard form of leukemia– B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (B-ALL) in adults.
In kids, B-ALL has high cure rates (>80% cured).
In adults, things are more difficult (38% are alive 5 years post-diagnosis). Things get much more difficult if the adult has relapsed (7% alive 5 years post-diagnosis).
Can a GMO HIV-1 do better than 7% in relapsed adult B-ALL patients?
There are five patients in this study. Four were >50 years old. One was only 23.
One had bone marrow that was 70% tumor. Yeah…
Four of the five patients went into remission and were eligible for bone marrow transplants. One died of unrelated issues, but the other three are doing just fine.
The fifth patient just couldnt get the bone marrow transplant because of other heath problems, and the cancer came back.
But four out of five went from “My bone marrow is basically just tumor and Ive got a 7% chance of surviving” to “Thanks to GMO HIV, I could get a bone marrow transplant and now Im fine.”
All that dead tumor really pissed off their homeostasis and they had high fevers/high cytokine levels for a while, but it was easily treated with some steroids (but unfortunately would impair the tumor slaughterfest). They gotta improve that. But as far as ‘cancer treatment side-effect’ profiles go, Ill take it.
So Im happy about this, right?
Well, Im sick of writing about the papers. Im sick of writing about four patients, five patients, six patients. I *know* this is a process, but this kind of protocol *WORKS*. We need this therapy to be fast-tracked into the clinics. We need this to be normal.