A new treatment end-stage leukaemia (cancer of the blood or bone marrow) hold promise for patients suffering with the disease, British scientists have said.
The researchers say that a life-saving cancer treatment that uses the body's own immune system to heal itself could be available within 10 years.
AdvertisementThe treatment, known as TCR gene therapy, works by injecting white blood cells with an infection-fighting gene that recognises cancer cells.
The white blood cells, which make up the body's immune system, then destroy leukaemia cells.
However, experts feared the white blood cells would attack other healthy cells causing a condition called graft versus host disease (GVHD).
But the study's lead author Dr Gavin Bendle at The Netherlands Cancer Institute and colleagues found a way to overcome GVHD after a series of experiments.
"It's an important breakthrough. TCR gene therapy is likely to be an important part of treatment for those patients with leukaemia who cannot be cured with standard therapies," the Daily Express quoted Bendle as saying.
Trials of the procedure are about to start in the UK.
The findings were published in the journal Nature Medicine.