The babies cured of their previously terminal cancer using ground-breaking treatment are still healthy and well – over a year on.
The tots had been battling leukaemia when they underwent a pioneering new gene editing technique that led to the ‘reverse’ of their cancer, in 2015. They were aged just 11 months and 16 months at the time.
As part of the ‘revolutionary’ technique, doctors used genetically engineered immune cells from a donor. These cells were used to attack the cancer cells in the babies’ bodies.
Both babies recovered, with their cancer-free diagnosis branded ‘miraculous’.
Even more incredible, however, is the revelation that both children are still healthy and well – a year, and 18 months on from their treatment, respectively.
The update was shared by lead doctor Professor Waseem Qasim, of Great Ormond Street Hospital, in the Science Translational Medicine journal.
While the update bodes well for the gene editing technique, Professor Qasim urged caution going forward.
“While both patients are now at home and are doing well, we must treat these results with some caution, as we don’t yet know if the technique will be successful in treating a larger number of patients,” he said.