NOV 20, 2015 05:16 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
NOV 06, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 06, 2018
The Rise of Thorium Nuclear Reactors
In the 1960s, an experimental reactor was built at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The scientists who worked on this project had one ingenious idea: to...
NOV 06, 2018
Plants & Animals
NOV 06, 2018
Why Bald Eagles Have Such Great Vision
The bald eagle is an incredible creature, not just for its beauty, but also because of its astonishing eyesight capabilities. Experts estimate that the bal...
NOV 10, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 10, 2018
Heart Attack Or Panic Attack? Knowing When To Seek Help
Chest pain, shortness of breath, and feelings of impending doom are all symptoms representative of both heart attacks and panic attacks. For this reason, i...
NOV 13, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 13, 2018
Viscoelasticity and Non-Newtonian Fluids
One of these is not like the others: honey, water, ketchup, and blood. The answer? Water, because the other three are all non-Newtonian fluid. When Isaac N...
NOV 23, 2018
Videos
NOV 23, 2018
Another Food Recall: Ground Turkey
The USDA announced that Jennie-O has recalled about 147,276 pounds of its ground raw turkey products....
NOV 27, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 27, 2018
Here's What Makes Mars So Challenging to Land On
Humankind has sent spacecraft to a plethora of worlds in our solar system, including asteroids, comets, moons, and planets. Of all, Mars has consistently p...
Loading Comments...