Killing cancer like the common cold

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nick Wilkins was out of options for battling leukemia
  • He is now cancer free after an experimental treatment
  • Doctors taught Nick’s immune cells to become adept at killing cancer
  • Experts hope the treatment will quickly become more widely available
    In the therapy, doctors first remove the patient’s T-cells, which play a crucial role in the immune system. They then reprogram the cells by transferring in new genes. Once infused back into the body, each modified cell multiplies to 10,000 cells. These “hunter” cells then track down and kill the cancer in a patient’s body.
    Essentially, researchers are trying to train Nick’s body to fight off cancer in much the same way our bodies fight off the common cold.