Recently in a study published in the Nature Medicine Journal a group of American scientists from Stanford University and National Institute of Health (NIH) has found a new possibility to cure leukemia which is a deadly disease that can occur to people at a very young age of seven years. These American scientists discovered a molecule called as CD22 that can serve as a potent target for the cells who act as killer cells of leukemia.
Leukemia is a blood cancer which occurs due to blood-forming tissues which results in the hindering of one’s body’s ability to fight with infection. The moment you hear that someone has leukemia we think that it is the end of that person as there were no proper medication and cure earlier for the disease. The olden ways were by doing proper monitoring of food and living habits in case one has mild leukemia, in severe leukemia cases chemotherapy that has to be followed by radiation are considered as treatments for curing the disease that is also known to be blood cancer.
The research and development all started after the US Food and Drug Administration approved a cell-based gene therapy called as CAR T-cell treatment, last year. The therapy works in a way by genetically modifying the immune cells of a patient. This helps to seek leukemia cells which is surrounded by a CD19 molecule on their surface and attacks them in return. 2 of the scientists discovered a molecule named as CD22 which can be treated as a similar target. Scientists have treated 21 patients in the age group of 7 to 30 years with a treatment-resistant B-cell leukemia to test the new CD22-directed method discovered by them recently. The 17 of them had CD19-directed therapy prior to it out of which 15 of them failed to respond and relapsed. It was found that by giving lowest dose to patients 1 out of 6 patients only achieved complete remission post the treatment process and with a very high dose 11 out of 15 patients achieved remission.
The new approach is very helpful as those patients who are treated with CD19-directed therapy, their cancer cells stop expressing the CD19 molecule on the surface of the cells. The researchers are in a good hope that by targeting simultaneously CD19 and CD22 an approach is produced where cancer cells don’t evade with results in the discovery of a new therapy that will cure leukemia in future.
So a disease for which there was no proper medication and curing measures earlier where chemotherapy was only the option scientists have come up with new therapy through which the disease can be cured to a great extent and the thinking that if a person is diagnosed with blood cancer than it’s the end of that person will change as from now on and in future it will be a new beginning of one’s life.