Girl cured of leukemia thanks to gene therapy

Girl cured of leukemia thanks to gene therapy

A one-year-old girl who suffered from an incurable stage of leukemia was cured of cancer, becoming the first person in the world to try a new experimental gene therapy.

The girl was cured at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital — after her parents were told that little Lila Richards' life could not be saved because she had too aggressive form of leukemia.

Fortunately, they still have hope — a new experimental treatment that affects the body at the gene level. At that time, it had not been tested on humans, only on mice.

Two months have passed since then, and Lila has fully recovered — now she is at home with her family.

Paul Weiss from GOSH, who treated Laila, said: “We used this technique for the first time, and we didn’t even hope that everything would work out. Laila's disease was in such an advanced and aggressive form that success now seems almost a miracle to us.”

Doctors from GOSH did the impossible — the patient’s body usually rejects foreign cells, but in Laila’s case they managed to “deceive” the DNA, forcing the girl’s immune system not to resist treatment.

Now scientists have to conduct many tests to understand whether it will be possible to use the innovative technique on a large scale. At the moment, the prognosis is favorable — as experts note, this technique could become a long-awaited breakthrough in the treatment of leukemia and cancer.