Vatican hospital completes successful trial of genetic therapy to fight pediatric cancer
Curing this 4-year-old child was previously impossible. However, this group of doctors at Bambino Gesu Hospital have managed to change that. The boy suffered from acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and after two recurrences, they decided to try an experimental treatment that received positive results for the first time in the United States in 2012.
The treatment is a genetic therapy known as CART – Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell. It modifies immune cells, those known as T-cells, to make them fight carcinogens.
The doctors say it's still too early to declare the patient completely cancer-free, but it will surely give hope to the 400 people who are diagnosed with the disease each year in Italy. It's one of the most prevalent tumors among children.
Successful treatment seems to be gaining ground little by little. In the United States, the New England Journal of Medicine published positive results in another 75 patients.
Bambino Gesu is commonly known in Italy as the Vatican's hospital. It's one of the medical centers where the dignity of the person is taken into account during care.