December 11th, 2012
02:57 PM ET

HIV helps put girl's leukemia in remission

An experimental treatment in which researchers reengineer a patient's own immune system to attack cancer cells seems to have worked in a 7-year old girl named Emma Whitehead. The acute lymphoblastic leukemia that almost claimed Whitehead's life is now in remission.

Whitehead received the treatment, called T-cell immunotherapy, in April. First doctors drew Whitehead's blood, separated out white blood cells called T-cells, and then, using a disabled AIDS virus to transmit genetic material, made the T-cells capable of identifying and attacking leukemia cells.

Finally, the genetically modified T-cells were transfused back into Whitehead, where they went to work wiping out her leukemia to below the level of detection, a process that can itself be deadly.

"This is just one example now of several examples where people can now use immune cells recognizing cancer to reject, and in some cases it's been well shown for 10 years now, that they can cure certain types of cancer with this approach," says Dr. James Yang, a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute.

"This latest research is about one such retargeting. It's targeting a single molecule, CD-19, that's on certain types of cancers."

Whitehead is one of 12 patients to undergo T-cell immunotherapy for Leukemia at the University of Pennsylvania. Other patients have responded differently, or not at all, to the treatment.

Among them, another pediatric patient initially responded to the treatment, but relapsed one month later. When the leukemia came back, it no longer had the specific CD-19 receptor that doctors had engineered her T-cells to identify on leukemic cells.

"Very often, with acute leukemia when patients relapse, they relapse fairly quickly, and the longer that Emily and other patients go without a relapse, the better the chances the leukemia won't come back, but it is still early in the follow-up," says Dr. David Porter, one of the Penn researchers. Emily is Whitehead's given name, although her family calls her Emma.

"There's a great deal of energy and effort trying to identify other targets on leukemia cells for that situation, but also useful targets that could be on other cancers where you could apply this kind therapy," he said.

Other hospitals are trying similar therapies.

soundoff (761 Responses)
  1. Video Marketing Consultant

    Howdy, I do think your website could possibly be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Apart from that, wonderful site!


    May 20, 2021 at 00:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. motorhome supplies near me

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this web site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!


    May 20, 2021 at 01:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Video Marketing Consultant


    May 20, 2021 at 01:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Enriqueta Mitch

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs


    May 20, 2021 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Content Marketing Services


    May 20, 2021 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Content Marketing Boutique

    I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your content. This article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.


    May 20, 2021 at 08:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Content Marketing Firms

    There's certainly a lot to learn about this topic. I like all of the points you've made.


    May 20, 2021 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Digital Marketing Services

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to revisit yet again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    May 20, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Collision Repair Riverside


    May 20, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. rv interior remodeling

    This is the perfect webpage for everyone who wants to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a subject that has been written about for decades. Great stuff, just great!


    May 20, 2021 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. orange county truck service


    May 20, 2021 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ford Van Repair


    May 20, 2021 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. horse trailer paint colors

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little homework on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast because I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this issue here on your site.


    May 20, 2021 at 22:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rv parts store close to me

    There's definately a lot to find out about this topic. I like all the points you have made.


    May 20, 2021 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Toilets Near Me


    May 21, 2021 at 01:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Barton Mcgougan

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these Second Life websites and blogs


    May 21, 2021 at 02:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. truck shop

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    May 21, 2021 at 06:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. the truck shop orange county

    Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the issues. It was truly informative. Your website is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 21, 2021 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. SEO Marketing Business


    May 21, 2021 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv furniture southern california


    May 21, 2021 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. phone repair ambulance


    May 21, 2021 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. horse trailers california


    May 21, 2021 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Couches Los Angeles


    May 21, 2021 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Parts Near Me

    You're so cool! I do not think I have read anything like this before. So great to find another person with some genuine thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is required on the web, someone with some originality!


    May 21, 2021 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Digital Marketing Firms


    May 21, 2021 at 17:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Dashboard Los Angeles


    May 21, 2021 at 18:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. copy pre owned tag heuer monaco

    194533 832544Ive applied the valuable points from this page and I can certainly tell that it gives a lot of assistance with my present jobs. I would be very pleased to keep finding back in this web page. Thank you. 369585

    May 21, 2021 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. safeco windshield repair


    May 21, 2021 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Awning Los Angeles

    Great post. I am dealing with some of these issues as well..


    May 21, 2021 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Supplies California


    May 21, 2021 at 22:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Technician California


    May 21, 2021 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. chloroquineorigin

    aralen hydrochloride hydroxychloroquine sulfate corona aralen buy aralen price usa https://chloroquineorigin.com/

    May 22, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Video Marketing Near Me


    May 22, 2021 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Local Marketing Firm

    You're so awesome! I do not believe I have read through something like this before. So nice to find somebody with a few unique thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is needed on the internet, someone with some originality!


    May 22, 2021 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Fiberglass Near Me

    Excellent post. I will be going through many of these issues as well..


    May 22, 2021 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Countertops Riverside


    May 22, 2021 at 21:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Bedroom Los Angeles


    May 22, 2021 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Kieth Dimitriou

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. Second life is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs


    May 23, 2021 at 04:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. rv generator repair near me


    May 23, 2021 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Driver Seats Riverside

    Hey there! I just want to offer you a big thumbs up for the excellent information you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your web site for more soon.


    May 23, 2021 at 15:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. bay door repair


    May 23, 2021 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. rv fiberglass repair


    May 23, 2021 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. bucket truck troubleshooting

    I really like reading through an article that will make men and women think. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!


    May 24, 2021 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Social Media Marketing Companies


    May 24, 2021 at 02:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rv slide out roof repair

    Your style is unique in comparison to other folks I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this web site.


    May 24, 2021 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. the truck shop orange


    May 24, 2021 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. rv fridge repair near me


    May 24, 2021 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. rv floor repair cost


    May 24, 2021 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. New Forklift Dealer California


    May 24, 2021 at 23:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Forklift Cylinders Orange County

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?


    May 25, 2021 at 00:35 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Leave a Reply to Kieth Dimitriou


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.