Supercells cured infant
Changes are being made for T-cell therapy, and many of these changes are benefiting child patients.
Indeed, the goal of experimental therapy is to help patients with bone marrow transplantation going through a tough time, where the first couple of months, the recipient patient’s immune system is being tested. The immune system is working on restoring it’s natural defenses.
After numerous testing in clinical trials for about 20 years, T-cell therapy technology has improved a lot where it is becoming commonplace. An example is a real life case involving a small male child patient, born with Chronic Granulomatous Disease (CGD). Annually, only 20 cases in the US are reported.
Chronic Granulomatous Disease
(CGD) is a genetic disease, where some immune cells have a hard time forming reactive oxygen compounds which kills certain types of pathogens. This leads to forming granulomata found in many organs. Granuloma is defined as groups of macrophages.
Donation from sibling
In fact, there was one case where using T-cell therapy proved to be successful. The oldest brother donated his T-cells to his younger sibling who was battling CGD. Doctors said the younger sibling’s WBC’s (white blood cells) could not fight off bacterial and fungal infections. Besides, they had concerns that a mere bacterial infection, that would be considered trivial in a young healthy kid, can lead to widespread infection throughout his body.
Furthermore, doctors used chemotherapy to clean the child’s bone marrow. They also extracted a small amount of marrow from the Thomas’ (oldest brother’s) hip bones. They took stem cells from this sample and “re-injected” them into Johan’s (patient and younger sibling) veins. These stem cells settled in Johan’s bone marrow and began making WBC’s again.
Preventative cell therapy
Moreover, the next important step was preventative cell therapy under a clinical trial, run by clinical trial leader, Michael Keller, immunologist at CNH (Children’s National Hospital) in Washington D.C. This hospital is one of the six top hospitals in the US. An incubator was used to produce WBC’s for implantation to Johan’s body, which would become an immune system booster.
Finally, doctors at CNH took out the cells that already had previous interaction with viruses. Dr. Keller was quoted saying that “Johan has Thomas’ immune system setup.”