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Exciting News: The New Designer Cell Therapy Saves a Dying Child from Leukemia

Update Date: Nov 10, 2015 09:48 AM EST
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When parents of Layla Richards, an infant, were told that their daughter will die, it left them heartbroken and devastated. From the time she turned 14 weeks old, she has been enduring treatment for severe lymphoblastic leukemia. From that time, she has been subjected to chemotherapy, suffered bone marrow transplants, have been flown all across UK for experimental treatments and has been put through endless blood tests. This girl of only a year has been in and out of intensive care all her life. However, the cancer still had her body in its firm clutches. Layla's mother, Lisa Foley said in a hospital press release that, "Doctors don't want to say that 'there's nothing we can do' and offer palliative care, but sometimes that's the only option". The girl's family took its chances, said her mother. "We didn't want to ... give up on our daughter," Foley continued. "So we asked the doctors to try anything." The anything that the parents were willing to try became the saving grace for their little daughter, reports New York Times.

The highly experimental and untested therapy that has only been tried on the lab mouse yet was something that the doctors were wary of trying on the little girl. They warned the parents that the treatment may not have any impact on Layla and worse, it may even make her sicker. In general, cancer doctors use the T Cells, the holders of immunity system, so that they are able to treat cancer. However, little Layla did not have enough T cells to help with a personalized therapy, said 9 News.

So, the doctors secured permission from the British government and Hospital ethics committee to try the new untested cell therapy on Layla. This gene was yet to be tested on humans but it worked wonders on Layla. Within a few months of treatment, the little girl is home and is cancer-free. In this treatment, the "designer cells" are injected into the body that help kill the leukemia cells, as reported by Washington Post.

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