NOV 20, 2015 5:16 AM PST

Gene Editing to the Rescue


Having a child diagnosed with cancer is a devastating blow to any parent. Going through chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant with a child younger than a year old is even more horrific and yet that is exactly what one family in the UK had to endure. Layla Richards, the child of Lisa Foley and Ashleigh Richards had been undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, ALL, since she was 14 weeks old. When all else had failed, her parents emailed doctors at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), asking them to try anything that might work.

Layla was accepted into a clinical trial at the hospital where donor genes would be "edited" with technology developed at GOSH and University College of London. These "designer" T cells were then injected back into Layla, and the family waited to see if it would work. A telltale rash that appeared after two weeks was a sign that the genes were affecting Layla. While doctors say Layla is in remission and likely will be the first person cured with this kind of treatment, they also stressed that more research needs to be done. In the meantime, Layla is home with her family, growing, playing and doing everything else most toddlers her age do.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
MAY 11, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Hear What Astronauts Think About SpaceX's Upcoming Crewed Launch
MAY 11, 2020
Hear What Astronauts Think About SpaceX's Upcoming Crewed Launch
On Wednesday, May 27th, NASA will entrust commercial space company SpaceX with the coveted task of flying astronauts to ...
JUN 01, 2020
Plants & Animals
Sifaka Lemurs Endure Dangerous Ventures to Find Food
JUN 01, 2020
Sifaka Lemurs Endure Dangerous Ventures to Find Food
Sifaka lemurs exist in families of such large numbers, that even an entire cluster of massive trees isn’t fruitful ...
JUN 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Space Agencies Are Developing Novel Space Junk Cleanup Tools
JUN 08, 2020
Space Agencies Are Developing Novel Space Junk Cleanup Tools
There are thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth today, with some residing in Low-Earth Orbit and others following a ...
JUN 14, 2020
Plants & Animals
Giant Hornet Queen Struggles to Establish Her Nest
JUN 14, 2020
Giant Hornet Queen Struggles to Establish Her Nest
Giant hornets are among the world’s largest and deadliest hornets, which might explain why they’re so revere ...
JUL 23, 2020
Plants & Animals
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
JUL 23, 2020
Sharks Missing from 1/5 of World's Reefs
Sharks of all sizes are vital to coral reef ecosystems, both as predators and prey. Shark populations have rapidly decli ...
AUG 13, 2020
Plants & Animals
Study Confirms Nutrient Transport in Pregnant Male Seahorses
AUG 13, 2020
Study Confirms Nutrient Transport in Pregnant Male Seahorses
Seahorses are some of the most extraordinary fish in the ocean, and one of their most noteworthy features is male pregna ...
Loading Comments...