August 11, 2011 |
In a potential breakthrough in cancer research, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have genetically engineered patients' T cells — a type of white blood cell — to attack cancer cells in advanced cases of a common type of leukemia. Two of the three patients who received doses of the designer T cells in a clinical trial have remained cancer-free for more than a year, the researchers said. Experts not connected with the trial said the feat was important because it suggested that T cells could be tweaked to kill a range of cancers, including ones of the blood, breast and colon.
June 5, 2011 |
To many of the nation's million people living with a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, Timothy Brown is the Harry Potter of the disease: Like the young wizard who survived Lord Voldemort's wrath, he is the boy who lived. Today, almost 20 years after he became infected, Brown is, essentially, cured. Brown, now 45, is known in medical-journal circles as "The Berlin Patient," a moniker assigned him by a February 2009 case study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In a "Brief Report," oncologist Gero Huetter and his colleagues at Berlin's University Hospital described the unique stem-cell transplant of an HIV-infected patient — Brown — who had acute myeloid leukemia, and the remarkable result: Twenty months after the procedure, the virus had not reappeared in Brown's body, even though he was no longer taking antiretroviral drugs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 5, 2011 |
Dr. Ernest McCulloch, who with biophysicist James E. Till was the first to isolate and identify a stem cell, opening the door immediately to bone marrow transplants and eventually to what researchers believe will be a host of treatments for a broad spectrum of diseases ranging from spinal cord injuries to Alzheimer's, died Jan. 20 in Toronto, just two weeks shy of the 50th anniversary of the publication of the pair's seminal discovery. He was 84. "It's impossible to overstate the enormity of Till's and McCulloch's discovery and longtime collaboration," Dr. Christopher Paige of the Ontario Cancer Institute, where the pair worked, said in a statement.
August 21, 2010 |
Clad in a yellow gown, blue foot covers, hair net, face mask and latex gloves, Paula Cannon pushed open the door to the animal room. "I hate this smell," she said, wrinkling her nose. The stink came from scores of little white mice scurrying about in cages. Some of the cages were marked with red biohazard signs, indicating mice that had been injected with HIV. Yet, in some of the animals — ones with a small genetic change — the virus never took hold. Like mouse, like man?
December 10, 2009 |
Researchers have for the first time performed a successful bone marrow transplant to cure sickle cell disease in adults, a feat that could expand the procedure to more of the 70,000 Americans with the disease -- and possibly some other diseases as well. About 200 children have been cured of sickle cell with transplants, but the procedure was considered too harsh for adults with severe sickle cell disease. Now a team from the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University is reporting today in the New England Journal of Medicine that it has developed a much-less-toxic transplant procedure and used it to cure nine of the first 10 patients studied.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2009 |
When Mina and Sam Chamberlin fell in love, they knew they might have to overcome some cultural barriers to make their interracial marriage work. But they never imagined that their South Asian and white genetic backgrounds would in any way put their children in potential harm's way. Then in September, the couple's 4-year old daughter, Maya, was diagnosed with a rare blood disease known as HLH. Only a bone marrow transplant could save her life....