Extra Minutes Dr Stephan Grupp discussing how HIV is modified to cure cancer

extra minutes so dr. grep tell me about Emily so Emily was the first patient that we treated with this new kind of therapy which basically involved genetically engineering her t cells t cells are cells of the immune system that can potentially attack cancer cells and so we genetically engineered her t cells to attack her cancer she was a little girl who had a disease called a ll that's a kind of leukemia which is the most common kind of childhood cancer she had been treated with chemotherapy initially she had gone into a remission but unfortunately the remission had not lasted very long she had relapsed her cancer had come back and then she had relapsed again at that point unfortunately chemotherapy wasn't working for her anymore so there was no treatment available for her at that point and this was the last chance this was absolutely her last chance now the virus you used is the family of HIV but it's not HIV correct essentially what we want to do is we want to take T cells from the patient we want to have those t-cells attack cancer cells the way we do that is we have to put a new gene into the T cells and in order to put that new gene in we use a modified form of the HIV virus the virus can no longer cause disease it's impossible to catch HIV and we don't actually put the virus in the patient we just expose the T cells to the virus so the patient gets the T cells the virus does not go into the patient but it is a form of the HIV virus so you take the virus mix it in sort of cocktail with a t-cell and then it hunts down the leukemia that's exactly right that the virus puts the gene in the T cells the gene causes the T cells to change to express this new protein and the protein does the targeting how did you feel when you saw what the treatment did for Emily I was absolutely astonished I mean it was at her response to this you know she came into this treatment with most of her bone marrow replaced by leukemia cells it was clear that nothing was going to work from her from a standard treatments standpoint and then three weeks after we gave these T cells we saw that she was a complete remission and she's been there ever since it was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen now clearly have broken through but is it incremental is it going to lead to similar breakthroughs and other cancers we are we and other groups as well are trying to figure out how to retask these T cells to go after other cancers every cancer is going to be different every target is going to be different and some cancers are have appropriate targets and some don't but for cancers with appropriate targets the next step is to see can we just do this in leukemia or can we do it in other kinds of cancer it's so exciting that you feel you on the edge of a breakthrough in cancer treatment I believe that this may actually be revolutionary in cancer therapy but we have to prove it so I believe it may be but in order to do that we have to show that this happens successfully at multiple hospitals which were in the process of doing and we have to show that it can work in other kinds of cancer