Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

After exhausting all other options, treatment restores girl's health quickly

Little Emily Whitehead's family had almost given up hope. Fighting leukemia for two years, Emily, or as she is commonly known, Emma relapsed for a second time during intensive chemotherapy treatment last February. Doctors had exhausted all the traditional treatments and her parents began to look at more radical options. Emily's salvation lay in a disabled form of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Leukemia, experimental procedure, child cancer, HIV


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The doctors at the Cancer Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia suggested that Emily try a clinical trial that would use a disabled form of HIV to carry cancer-fighting genes into her T-cells. Doctors hoped that this would reprogram her immune system to recognize the cancer cells and start killing them.

Adult patients had responded well to the therapy in clinical trials at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. The treatment, however was so new, her parents were warned that there would be attendant risks.

"We were told that we were down to 48 hours of making a decision or she could start having organ failure," her mother Mrs. Whitehead said. They soldiered on with the knowledge that even if the procedure didn't work, the information could help doctors save other sick children.

Emma became the first child to have the therapy known as CTL019 last April.

Emily became critically ill and was admitted to intensive care at the children's hospital. On April 24, doctors told her parents she had a one in 1,000 chance of surviving the night.

Then, trial leader Dr. Stephan Grupp and his team realized that the level of a certain protein had become very elevated as a result of the T-cells growing in Emily's body. The team administered the drug to Emily, with dramatic results. Emma's breathing improved, her fever dropped and her blood pressure was back to normal.

Emma's father was extremely proud of her daughter. "She told us from the beginning that she would continue to fight and do what we asked as long as we were there with her. We've stuck together as a team. She's definitely our hero."

In the experimental treatment, her T-cells were collected from her blood, then re-engineered in a lab to recognize and attach to a protein called CD19 that is found only on the surface of B cells. In order to do this, doctors used a gutted HIV virus, called a lentivirus, to carry special receptors into the T-cells. There is no risk of HIV infection from a lentivirus.

"Emily completely responded to her T-cell therapy. We checked her bone marrow for the possibility of disease again at three months and six months out from her treatment, and she still has no disease whatsoever," doctors said. "The cancer-fighting T-cells are still there in her body."

Emily went home in June and now enjoys going to school, playing football and walking her dog Lucy.

Scientists said that while the results were very promising, much more research needs to be done to see whether the therapy is a viable, safe and long-term solution for controlling certain cancers in children and adults.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Health

Do you eat pomegranates? Well here's a few reasons why you should Watch

Image of Pomegranates contain the chemical punicalagin, a form of a chemical compound known as polyphenol, which may help to prevent the inflammation that destroys brain cells known as micrologia.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An ingredient in pomegranate may help stop the spread of Alzheimer's disease, scientists from the University of Huddersfield claim. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The chemical punicalagin, a form of a chemical compound known as polyphenol, helps prevent the ... continue reading


NEW HOPE IN EBOLA CRISIS: U.S. doctor released from hospital - cured Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Contracting the deadly African virus while he worked to save their lives, Dr. Kent Brantly became one of the handful of people from the United States to contract Ebola. Receiving treatment back in the U.S., Brantly walked out of the hospital to the waiting arms ... continue reading


HEALTH DISASTER: Is nearly half of all Americans destined to contract diabetes? Watch

Image of The irony of the situation is that Americans are generally living longer, which is a factor in their increased lifetime chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Americans are also not dying in the same proportions that they were, because of better treatment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Has the United States reached the tipping point with diabetes and obesity? A shocking new study claims that nearly HALF of all Americans, if trends continue, will develop type 2 diabetes in the near future. Public Health England, in their most recent report ... continue reading


First large-scale shipment of new malaria drug shipped out Watch

Image of The recent shipment marks a new phase in the fight against the mosquito-borne disease.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just as virulent - as far more easily transmitted than Ebola, malaria is making new inroads to populations in sub-Saharan Africa. In response, French drug maker Sanofi has announced the delivery of large-scale batches of an antimalarial drug made using ... continue reading


Very accurate colon cancer in-home detection kit approved by FDA Watch

Image of  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new at-home, DNA-based stool test that screens for colorectal cancer with more than 90 percent accuracy.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Screening for colon cancer is frequently arduous and invasive. Patients need to fast prior to a colonoscopy, and the colonoscopy itself be highly uncomfortable and not always accurate. There's now good news for those at risk. The U.S. Food and Drug ... continue reading


You'll think twice before you put this dangerous chemical back in your mouth! Watch

Image of Colgate's Total brand of toothpaste contains the chemical triclosan, which has been proven to cause disruptions in the endocrine system in mice and rats.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A top-selling toothpaste uses the chemical triclosan which has been linked to cancer-cell growth and disrupted development in animals, and regulators are still reviewing whether or not it's safe to pt in soap, cutting boars and toys, while many consumer companies ... continue reading


New diabetes drug could help us all: Found effective in preventing cancer Watch

Image of Scientists who studied more than 180,000 people found a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a new study, a drug widely prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes could help us all live longer. Said drug, metformin, which controls glucose levels, may also stave off cardiovascular disease and cancer, regardless if the person is diabetic. LOS ... continue reading


Mutated gene increases women's chance for breast cancer by threefold Watch

Image of Doctors also could recommend more aggressive surveillance for breast cancer, such as annual mammograms or MRI breast screening.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study has found that mutated versions of a gene called PALB2 can dramatically increase a woman's risk of breast cancer. Researchers say that women carrying the PALB2 mutation have a one in three chance of developing breast cancer by the age of 70. LOS ... continue reading


WAS WORLD'S THROAT CUT? Ebola vaccine research was earlier abandoned Watch

Image of It must also be noted that while the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. government often fund the early animal safety and efficacy testing of a vaccine, pharmaceutical companies typically fund the human clinical trials to take a drug or vaccine to market.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With increasing fears of the Ebola virus in West Africa and elsewhere, world governments are now frantically trying to contain the disease. What is not widely known is the fact that there had been work on finding a vaccine for Ebola four years ago, that was ... continue reading


PLAGUE STRIKES HOME: At least six people tested for Ebola in U.S. Watch

Image of Said individual, who has recently traveled to West Africa where the current outbreak is taking place is said to be under

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At least six people within the continental United States have been tested for the dreaded Ebola virus, the deadly hemorrhagic disease tearing through West Africa. While all six people tested negative, the states in which these people were from remains a tightly ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 1:17-19
17 'As for you, prepare yourself for action. Stand up ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 71:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 15, 17
1 In you, Yahweh, I take refuge, I shall never be put ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 6:17-29
17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 29th, 2014 Image

St. Sabina
August 29: St. Sabina's feast day is August 29th. We know St. Sabina only ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter